Sunday Kitchen: Treats sure to pasta taste test
The Dunbrody House’s star chef Kevin Dundon shares his favourite recipes
THIS week I am sharing two recipes which both use simple ingredients and won’t break the bank. The first is the famous pasta dish of carbonara. There are many different versions of this recipe, and just as many claims about where it comes from and how it got its name. One take is ‘carbonaro’, the South Italian word for ‘coal miner’, with some believing the hearty, easy-to-make meal was created by ‘carbonara’, meaning ‘coal miner’s wife’, for the workers. Another explanation dates back to the 1940s when Italy was liberated by American troops, and their bacon and egg rations were added to pasta dishes. Italians are very attached to some recipes and I know that the later addition of cream or crème fraiche by some French chefs almost sparked a ‘Carbonaragate’ in the culinary world. I have kept the recipe here as close to the version I was served a few months ago in Rome. Fresh fettuccine or spaghetti laced in a sauce made of egg yolk, Parmesan and pancetta, with the cooking water from the pasta used as the base for a creamy sauce without any other ingredients. The piping hot pasta is combined with the sauce to create a smooth and richly flavoured dish, without the taste of cooked egg yolks. Remember that the egg won’t be fully cooked, but instead will be just set like a hollandaise sauce. It’s a great for a quick and tasty lunch or dinner. And if you want to launch a new ‘Carbonaragate’, simply replace the pancetta with chorizo or prawns or add some crème fraiche to the final mixture. Dessert is a delicious combination of rhubarb and meringue. My Eton mess uses in-season rhubarb and raspberries, which are just starting to come into season here in Dunbrody. We’re lucky to have an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in our garden. It makes a world of difference to the taste. Happy cooking, Kevin
Ingredients (serves 4)
■ 400g fettuccine
■ 200g pancetta, cut into pieces
■ 4 egg yolks
■ 1 garlic clove, finely chopped (optional)
■ 100g Parmesan, grated
■ Salt and cracked black pepper
1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook according to the pack instructions.
2. Meanwhile, in a heated sauté pan, fry the pancetta for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds.
3. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and half the Parmesan. Season lightly with cracked black pepper. Add 2-3 tbsp of cooking liquid from the pasta to loosen the mixture.
4. Once cooked, drain the pasta and return to the saucepan (off the heat). Add the pancetta and egg and cheese mixture, stirring to coat the pasta and allow the eggs to set with the residual heat. Season well.
5. Serve immediately sprinkled with the rest of the Parmesan.
RHUBARB & RASPBERRY ETON MESS
INGREDIENTS SERVES 4
■ 4-6 rhubarb stalks, finely chopped
■ 1 tbsp orange marmalade
■ 1 orange juice
■ 100g raspberries
■ 2 tbsp caster sugar
■ 300ml cream
■ 100g mascarpone
■ 1 tsp vanilla extract
■ 8-10 mini meringues
1. Mix the rhubarb, marmalade, orange juice, raspberries and caster sugar in a bowl. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (preferably up to a day).
2. Transfer the rhubarb mixture into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the rhubarb has softened. Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream and mascarpone with the vanilla extract until stiff. Then, add the mini meringues and fold in the rhubarb mixture.
4. Spoon the Eton mess into dessert glasses and enjoy immediately.
Top tip: If you have broken or slightly less fresh meringues to use up, just crush them into a bowl with the mascarpone cream and rhubarb and raspberry compote and swirl.
Alternatively, serve the three components — the meringue, cream and compote — in three separate bowls and allow guests to build their own Eton mess. Either way, it is delicious.
TOP TIP: NO EGGS NEEDED TO WHIP UP A VEGAN-FRIENDLY MERINGUE IN MINUTES
MAKING a tasty meringue dessert for vegan family members or guests is a cinch. In fact, you can make the same batch for everyone, as they are so similar in texture and flavour that no one will know the difference — I promise.
Just use 150ml aquafaba (the liquid found in a tin of chickpeas) instead of egg white and whip it up as usual with 300g caster sugar until smooth and glossy. Pipe into meringues, bake in the oven and use as needed.
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