Hubs and I do not care to entertain often, but when we do, we try not to disappoint. I cannot even recollect when the last time was that we had people formally over, but it must be at least two years. Our theme for this upcoming dinner party is inspired by all the pasta we have been making – dinner, Italian style.
I can’t give it all away right now, in the event that any of our guests will come across this post. One of the dishes we considered was an egg pasta. The problem with making fettuccine with a tomato-based sauce, is the sauce flinging factor, especially since we don’t expect the majority of our guests are familiar with eating long pasta with a fork and spoon. It could be a messy affair. But hubs says he really likes my egg pasta, so tonight I’ve decided to experiment with spaghetti carbonara. It’s exciting for two reasons – I haven’t used the spaghetti attachment yet, and who doesn’t love bacon?
I made the dough in the late afternoon, and after 15-20 minutes of kneading (I lost track of time), I left it to rest for at least two hours. While I waited, I started prepping the ingredients for the carbonara. My ingredient quantities is for approximately 0.66 pounds of fresh pasta.
I cannot stop raving about the pasta attachments for my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. It comes with the dough roller attachment, a fettuccine cutter, and a spaghetti cutter. For tonight’s pasta, I only rolled out the dough to thickness 3 versus thickness 5 for fettuccine. The result was perfect.
- 3 shallots, chopped into small pieces
- 20 grams of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 5 grams peas (use fresh if you can)
- 50 grams pancetta (PC brand, pre-cooked, pre-cubed)
- 1/4 cup chardonnay
- 30 mL table cream
- 1 large egg
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- In a medium sized pot, cook pancetta. The product we used was already pre-cooked, so it rendered some fat, but not a lot. Remove pancetta. Keep the fat in the pot. Add about 1 Tbsp EVOO.
- Cook shallots on medium-low temp, approximately 10 minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Be sure not to burn the garlic.
- Add the white wine and increase the temperature to medium. Let the alcohol burn off. Scrape the flavour bits from the bottom of the pot.
At this point, drop the fresh pasta into a pot of salted, boiling water. It only needed about 1 minute 15 seconds for both bunches of spaghetti.
- Add back the pancetta and let everything cook together for a couple of minutes.
- Add 1/2 Tbsp EVOO
- Using tongs, transfer cooked pasta into pot with sauce. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, just in case, and dump the rest of the water. Transfer pasta and sauce into the bigger pasta pot.
- Add beaten egg and toss to coat the pasta. At this point, the heat has just been turned off (using the burner that was used for boiling pasta).
- Add cream, toss well
- Add cheese, coat well
- Add more EVOO, pinch of nutmeg, and black pepper to taste
That’s it. Easy. I loved hub’s reaction. He liked it. It made the cut for the upcoming dinner party. We are going to add some fresh parsley, but I wasn’t up for buying a bunch of parsley today for this test. I will also look for fresh peas versus frozen peas, as I personally prefer the taste and texture of fresh peas over frozen. In tonight’s kitchen lab, I only had frozen carrot & pea mix. To add a pop of colour, I may add a small amount of finally diced red bell pepper.
The egg really does add a nice thick creamy texture. You’ll note that I did not add any salt to the sauce because I felt the pancetta and Parmesan contributed enough sodium, and my pasta dough has some salt too. For the party pasta, I will cut the salt used in my dough in half to 2.46 mL (half of a 1/2 tsp). I hope our guests will enjoy this as much as we did!