Hot on the heels of the wheel as the greatest invention is my pasta machine! Finally I got it out of its box and put it to work at the weekend. My helper and I made lots of spaghetti for a Carbonara Italian style – not Brit style with pools of cream. I heard recently that cream in Carbonara was an addition in restaurants to keep the dish warm as the traditional version with an egg cracked on top at the end would cool too fast from kitchen to table. Well, unless you dine in a banquet hall I think it’s safe to say the traditional version will still be hot when it reaches your table.
What you need:
160g 00 flour
3 eggs (for the pasta)
1 rasher of organic bacon per person
2 eggs (for the Carbonara)
Extra Virgin olive oil
Freshly grated parmesan for people to help themselves at the table
What you need to do:
1. In a large bowl mix the flour and semolina together, create a well in the middle and crack the eggs in.
2. Gradually bring the ingredients together with your fingers working it until it forms a ball of dough.
3. Place the ball on a floured surface and work it more with your fingers for a good few minutes.
4. Divide the ball into 3. Take each piece of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin into a long strip.
5. Feed the lengths of pasta into the pasta machine set on a thin setting, flour a surface and lay the thinned strips on it. You may need to cut the strips in half if they are too long to handle.
6. Put each strip through the machine twice, then leave on the floured surface to dry for two minutes whilst you prepare the other ingredients. The pasta cooks very quickly so this will be the last thing you do to prepare the Carbonara.
7. Put a large pan of water on the hob to boil with a shake of salt.
8. Cut the rashers of bacon into small pieces, around 1cm by 1cm, and fry in a little olive oil on a gentle heat. Once they have cooked a bit, about 2 minutes, pour the fatty juices away and continue frying so they crisp up.
9. Turn the heat off the bacon and start feeding the pasta strips through the machine in the spaghetti attachment. Put the pasta in the boiling water as soon as you have rolled it through the machine. If the spaghetti is sticking together as it comes out of the machine the strips need to dry for a few more minutes.
10. Once you have made all the spaghetti and boiled it for 2 minutes, drain it, place it back in the pot and stir the bacon in with a glug of olive oil. Then crack 2 eggs on top and stir quickly to coat the pasta.
11. Serve immediately.