Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pasta Carbonara - The Nigella Way

The one thing I've learnt ever since I stepped into the kitchen this year is that organisation matters.  Yes, very much so!  It helps that your kitchen is organised, and it definitely helps if you read the recipe thoroughly and plan your cooking process.

I think everyone knows that I'm a huge follower of Nigella by now.  I've made her pasta carbonara 3-4 times already, and they have not failed me yet!  But the two reasons I like about making this dish are firstly, it's fast, and secondly, somehow I have the planning and timing all down to a pat ( I said, I have cooked it 3 or more times..), so it makes me feel.. ahem.. like a very experienced cook!

There were 3 things that happened in the kitchen today that made my life a little more exciting than usual :
1) I uncorked my first bottle of wine (I know.. this sounds so pathetic right? But there's always a first time for everyone! Mine just came 30 years late).  It was tough! I had to watch a video on youtube before I knew how to use the corkscrew.  The sommelier made it look so easy, but I took around 15 minutes to wrench the cork out!  That 15 minutes was probably more exhausting than my 45 minute swim this morning.
2) Fire in Pan! Usually when I add wine while cooking, it usually just sizzles and reduces.  Earlier when I was cooking the bacon, I poured the wine in too quickly and there was a huge flame that came out of the pan!  It freaked me out at that moment, but thinking back, that was so awesome! It's like how the chefs cook on tv.  Having said that, I probably won't attempt it again.
3) I've learnt how to plate my pasta using the twirl method. This is all thanks to blogger, Xiaolu (6  I was reading her tips on food photography and styling, and it works (though I probably need more practice!)!

Alright, enough of my rambling. And here's the recipe. I recommend watching Nigella's video before your attempt.  You'll find out how easy this recipe is after viewing the video.  Based on her video, I omitted the cream and nutmeg, and the pasta still tastes as good!  And less sinful.  The trick to making this dish fast is to cook your pasta first.  While it's in the boiling water, prepare the the beaten egg and parmesan cheese mixture and set aside.  Cut the bacon or pancetta into small pieces and set aside.  When you have about 4 minutes left of pasta cooking time, bring out the saucepan, heat the olive oil and start frying the bacon.  Everything moves like clockwork then ;)


  1. Quite an interesting post! I will try the recipe. Hope I can make it as organized as you did yours and by the way...Congratulations on the first bottle of wine, uncorked. Haven't been there yet. It's the hubby who does the uncorking. Let me try the twirling method too...Gosh! I am excited. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Don't feel bad about your first opening of wine. I'm just a few years older than you and not only have I never opened a wine bottle, I have never drunk wine either! I've never seen authentic carbonara recipe that calls for wine. I think I will have to try out everything else but the wine. The plating of your pasta looks STUNNING! I must learn that trick.

  3. Looks great! So glad I was able to be of help =)

  4. Thanks for dropping by :) yes. Do give it a try and let me know if it works out well for you too!!