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“I Made It! Monday” Week #1

Chicken Bolognese, courtesy Donna Hay’s The New Easy recipe book.  

What did YOU make last week? 

Refer to the Main Event page for details on how to join my new weekly event!

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My Favourite Recipe: PASTA perfection

Between work, online uni study and preparing a guest post for the beautiful Flavoured Lemons blog (what a treat and honour!), I’ve fallen a bit behind with the weekly ‘My Favourite Recipe‘ challenge. Better late than never, though, am I right?

Had I not had the wonderful opportunity to spend four amazing days in Tuscany (nearly two years ago now, *sob*), learning how to cook delicious Italian food with Chef Claudio, this would be a completely different post!

Pasta is such a versatile ingredient – whether you use dried, fresh or handmade, you’re pretty much assured a quick, easy and – best of all – relatively cheap meal (unless, of course, you choose to lace it with champagne, lobster, and freshly shaved truffles and the like). I’m not ashamed to admit that if it wasn’t for those jars of ready-made pasta sauce you can buy at any supermarket, I probably would have survived on little more than scrambled eggs or tinned spaghetti when I first left home…we all have to start somewhere!

However, with the help of the Super Food Ideas magazine, countless Australian Women’s Weekly recipe books and the likes of Donna Hay, Nigella and Jamie, it wasn’t long before I discovered just how easy it is to turn a humble bowl of pasta into something delicious using fresh ingredients and home-made sauces. With Chef Claudio, I had the opportunity to take it one step further and learn how to make fresh pasta with an egg, plain flour and my own two hands (no machine required). Although we declared at the time that we would never cook with packet pasta again, I must confess it is still a staple item in our pantry (or fridge, when we get the fresh pasta).

But I digress – I’m here to talk about my favourite pasta recipe!

I was first introduced to the salty-but-sweet, rich, creamy goodness of Spaghetti Alla Carbonara while I was working in a lovely little Italian cafe-restaurant in my late teens; several years later I started looking for recipes in order to try it myself, aware of the fact that it would never measure up to Chef Jan’s beautiful dish.

Over time, my versions of this dish have changed quite considerably, based on the recipes I’d sought out, and whatever ingredients I had in my possession at the time. Once again, Chef Claudio came to the rescue.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to throw away the cream, tins of evaporated milk, and any preconceptions you had about what constituted a true Carbonara…

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara (alla Chef Claudio)

Ingredients:
  • 400g spaghetti (or other pasta of choice – I sometimes use fettucine or spiral pasta)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 200g prosciutto (or bacon)
  • 2 TBS milk
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Note: Besides the measurements¬†(I tend to use less eggs), the only variation I make to this recipe¬†is to cook chopped mushrooms with the prosciutto…they work beautifully in the recipe.

Method:

Thanks again to B.TX for setting up this challenge! Please join in and support this wonderful weekly event!