This is my first attempt on carbonara. Instead of bacon, I crave for chicken that day.
Italian spaghetti no.3
300g chicken fillet
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
chopped fresh tomatoes for garnish
1/2 cup fresh cream
big handful of grated parmigiano cheese
pinch of sea salt
good amount of freshly ground black pepper
Bring a pot of water to boil and add salt. Put in spaghetti and cook to al dente.
While spaghetti is cooking, heat up olive oil in a pan and fry onions till it turns translucent. Put in chicken fillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry chicken fillet till slightly brown. Add in white wine.
Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl.
Remove pan with chicken away from heat, put in spaghetti follow by sauce mixture and stir well till sauce becomes silky. Sprinkle chopped tomatoes.
I tried a nice meat sauce spaghetti in Interlaken, Switzerland. Not knowing the recipe, I created my own version. This is a recipe for two.
Streaky Bacon, 50g
Mince Beef, 150g
Italian Canned Tomato, 1 can
Chopped Onion, 1/2 bulb
Red Wine, 1/4 cup
Freshly Chopped Rosemary
Freshly Crushed Black Pepper
Heat up a pan with some olive oil and fry bacon till crispy then put aside for later use.
In the same pan, add in more olive oil and saute onion and garlic till golden brown.
Add in mince beef, salt, pepper and rosemary. Saute for 30 seconds.
Add in red wine follow by crushed tomatoes. Add in a little pasta water and simmer sauce for 8 minutes.
Toss spaghetti in the sauce with bacon and serve immediately with parmigiano cheese.
Once you get your aglio olio right, you can add in anything to have it your way. Today I top it up with my favorite Thai sausage and sunflower sprouts.
Pasta should be cooked till firm to the bite.
I knew about this word Al Dente only in recent years. Before this, I have been overcooking my pasta. Oops!
There are many ways to describe Al Dente. I found this description from busycooks.about.com to be most appropriate – Al Dente refers to the desired texture of cooked pasta in Italian cooking. It literally means “to the tooth”. When the pasta is cooked al dente, there should be a slight resistance in the center when the pasta is chewed.
There are many recipes out there to help us achieve it but the problem is cooking time varies for different types of pasta. For example spaghetti no.3 and no.5 needs different timings to cook. It also depends if the pasta will be thrown into sauce over fire and continue the cooking process or is it going to be mix into raw egg sauce.
As a start, an easy way is to follow the suggested timing on the cooking instruction of the pack which turns out to be rather accurate. What’s important is to bring enough salt water to the boil before putting in the pasta.
Just like most Asians, I grow up eating food cook in pork lard or peanut oil. I never knew the existence of olive oil even when I tried to cook my first plate of pasta which turns out as a disaster.
I only learn about olive oil much later when I watched cooking programs from the discovery travel and living channel (now known as TLC) and of course from Jamie Oliver.
The fact is olive oil cost so much more than our usual peanut oil which makes it uncommon as basic cooking oil used in most family here. But when it comes to pasta, salads and most European dishes, there is no compromise.
I won’t go into the differences between extra virgin and pure olive oil but in general, i use extra virgin when i do not need to heat it. It is good for salad, as a dip with balsamic vinegar for crusty bread and as table oil for adding into cooked food to gain that extra smoothness. Pure olive oil for the actual cooking as the cost is slightly lower than extra virgin. And if you are loaded with extra cash, you can try using it for deep frying and tell me the difference.
Personally, “Pietro Coricelli” from Italy is my preferred brand as it comes in dark bottles which are the best for storing olive oil.
Just like creating a program promo, if you try to include too many selling points and messages in one spot, you will probably end up with a messy trailer that has too many things to say and lack focus.
Same as many beginners, when I first start to cook pasta, I like to put a lot of ingredients into one dish so that it won’t look pathetic. It took me some time before I learn to appreciate the noodle itself with olive oil and garlic.
Aglio (ah-lio – garlic) Olio (o-lio – oil) is the most basic pasta you can make in minutes. Life can’t get any better than to enjoy home pasta cooked to “al dente” toss in extra virgin olive oil with golden crispy garlic. I like to add some shallots as well.
Once done, it’s up to you to add in appropriate ingredients from fresh red chilli or cherry tomatoes to ham or even seafood.