Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

16.8.04

Spaghetti carbonara with a roasted pumpkin and cos salad.

Spaghetti carbonara has always been one of my favourites. I usually use bacon but I made it the other night with prosciutto.

It's such an easy dish to make. While you set your pasta to cook (plain spaghetti is best but I have used fettucine, spirals - even gnocchi, which comes up magnificently) cook a few strips of prosciutto sliced into small pieces in olive oil in a pan (it will cook very quickly) along with a scored garlic clove. Add a dash of dry white wine and a sprinkling of cracked black pepper and swish it around. It will now be deliciously aromatic.

When the pasta is ready, drain and quickly toss into the pan with the prosciutto, now back over heat. Immediately crack an egg or two over the pasta and fold it through along with a good tablespoonful of grated parmesan cheese. (I also throw in some finely chopped parsley.)

You will see the egg set and the cheese melt before your eyes. Combine carefully, lifting the flecks of prosciutto through. Switch off the heat. It will continue to set, particularly if you have a heavy-based heat-retaining pan.

Serve immediately. The cheese and the egg make it silky smooth and unctuous, rounded out by the salt of the prosciutto and the crunch of the parsley. More cracked pepper and grated cheese over the top if you wish.

It's probably my all-time favourite pasta.

We had this with the following salad: sliced cos lettuce; chunks of roasted pumpkin (the second last stored pumpkin from last summer!); rings of spanish onion; avocado slices; rings of lebanese cucumber; toasted pine nuts; lemon/olive oil dressing tossed in a jar with a scored garlic clove; chopped dill garnish (just because it was there).

(The cos lettuce: T. had brought a bunch home from the school garden. She runs the garden as a kind of tactile teaching aide for the developmentally-impaired children. The children enjoy planting seeds and seedlings, they watch them grow, they harvest them. And sometimes they just rip the plants right out of the ground with big smiles on their faces! They get to take their produce home, but there's always plenty left over.)

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PS: Comments is playing up, but I'm just amazed blogger continues to exist - with millions of people now blogging, maybe one day it will just like, burst and disappear from the face of the earth (the face of cyberspace?).

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