Today is my only day off which in itself sums up my day’s activities – catching up on errands, chores, housework, & prepping for the week etc. Doesn’t leave me much time to prepare a fancy meal for dinner. Since, I typically store cheese, pasta, & fresh herbs in my kitchen, I chose to make Pasta Carbonara. This meal actually comprises of very few ingredients, yet it is rather lavish.
The reason I consider it lavish is for the quality of the ingredients. I realized early on in my cooking that good ingredients yield great results, especially when there are only few. Pasta Carbonara with Parmigiana Reggiano, the true king of Italian Cheese; Lamb Chops is another indulgence.
Try to find the best quality ingredients you can find for this meal. I only use Parmigiano Reggiano and Fresh Pasta. If you are in a hurry, feel free to buy the fresh pasta in your local grocery store or use Colavita; my brand of preference for dried pasta.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Mediterranean Marinade
The Mediterranean marinade is quick and effortless to make; results are bold and flavorful.
- 3 Lemons, juiced
- 2 Lemon, zested
- Olive Oil 5 Anchovy Fillets (optional)
- 1 Tbs. chopped Fresh Rosemary
- 5 Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 2 lbs New Zealand/Australian Frenched Lamb
- Fresh Black Pepper, to taste
- Combine all the above ingredients and marinate the lamb overnight.
- Grill the chops medium rare.
- Serve warm with lemon slices.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Pasta Carbonara is one of the simplest pastas to create, especially when pressed for time. Though it does have the reputation of being notoriously tricky.
- 1 lb fresh Spaghetti (I use combination of egg and spinach pasta to enhance the aesthetic value)
- Olive Oil
- 4 ounces Pancetta, cubed
- 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Fresh ground Black Pepper
- Fresh Parsley, chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook per package directions. (Usually 3-4 minutes).
- Heat the olive oil and sauté pancetta till golden brown. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Add the hot pasta to the pancetta and garlic and toss to combine.
- Immediately, while the pasta is hot; add the eggs and cheese mixture and pasta water. Keep whisking briskly until the sauce reaches the desired creamy consistency.
- Season with black pepper and sprinkle parsley.
- Serve immediately.
Note: The trick to a great pasta Carbonara is the rapid addition of egg/cheese mixture to the hot pasta without scrambling the eggs. You must be ultra quick in order to achieve the creamy consistency, this pasta is most appreciated for.