Monday, June 20, 2011

Recipes: Tagliatelle Carbonara

As pasta has just been revealed to be the world's favourite food, despite what Giles Coren might think, this recipe turns out to be topical. Carbonara is one of those dishes which is so simple that you can taste every ingredient, so every ingredient needs to be a good one. With carbonara I think this is especially true of the lardons and parmasan. I really like Ginger Pig lardons which you can get from Greensmith's, who also do very good parmasan and semolina flour and typo 00.

Pasta-fallTagliatelleI recommend using a pasta machine (left), but it's not essential (right). If you are going to roll it by hand you might want to add a little bit of water to the mixture to make it more malleable.

The following measurements are good for one very hungry person, or possibly two small people.

First make the pasta dough by mixing 50g of semolina flour, 50g of typo 00, 1 large egg and a pinch of salt. Use a knife to mix and cut until it resembles breadcrumbs, press together, tip the dough out and kneed it for a while. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Fry the lardons in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil until they begin to crispen. Meanwhile roll out the pasta dough, fold over and roll again. Repeat this process several times until the dough is a nice and smooth consistency. Then roll thin and cut into tagliatelle. I wouldn't be tempted to leave the tagliatelle too long, the novelty quickly wears thin. If you are using a machine you can skip the final notch before putting the dough through the cutting rollers for slightly thicker pasta.

Tag CarbCook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water in a heavy pan for three minutes. Meanwhile beat together one egg, some cream and some finely grated paramasan and season. Once the pasta is done, turn off the heat and drain, returning the pasta to the pan. Pour over the lardons and their oil and mix. Add the egg, cream and parmasan mixture and stir thoroughly. the sauce should thicken with the residual heat of the pan but not cook, you don't want scrambled eggs. Serve with rocket.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Short Reviews: Casa Malevo, Argentinian Steak, Marble Arch

Casa MalevoGo for brunch, it's good value and they have proper morcilla. Dinner is fine, but not outstanding and quite expensive. Sides are mean, especially the chips. I could happily eat two of their little enamel bowl fulls, Mixed Grill @ Casa Malevowhich at this price is inexcusable, and perplexing when there is so much meat. The set mixed grill we had the other day was very generous, apart from the tiny cubes of very overdone fillet. The rump was nice but inconsistently done (we had four sets), but maybe that was intentional. Service, and the place itself, is very nice.