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Ash’s Sweetheart Spaghetti Carbonara

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The History – I’ve attributed this recipe to Ash from Slide, but it’s a little generous give him all the credit. Anyone who’s read Slide will be familiar with Maggie, Pete’s mother, who is a tiny Italian spitfire. She’s what us Brits would call totally bonkers, and Pete is more or less her part time carer by the time we meet her in Slide, but one thing she does well is feed her boys. Cooking is a holistic process for Maggie, and this is something we see her teaching Ash.

I think scenes like these are important in books. Perhaps I read too much Enid Blyton as a child, but I always feel like I know a character better if I know how they eat…maybe even how they cook too.

In Slide, we see Ash cook for love, and from the soul. He often finds it difficult to express his emotions verbally. Maggie teaching him how to cook Pete’s favourite foods gave him an outlet, and I reckon it was one that made Pete, and his belly, pretty damn happy, just as this bowl of creamy, bacon-y pasta does me and mine!

To see this recipe in context, Slide can be found HERE.

PS: If you’re wondering if two dudes Ash and Pete’s age would really have stuff like extra-virgin olive oil at home, remember who Pete’s mama is!!


The Recipe

If you’ve got a big enough pan, it’s well worth chucking the spaghetti into the pan with the bacon and garlic before adding the eggs. Hot pasta is like a sponge, and this way it sucks up all the bacon-y goodness before the sauce works its magic too. And bacon-y goodness can never be bad, right?

Serves 4. On the table in 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 180g/6.5oz smoked bacon/pancetta, cubed
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 20g parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 55g/1.5oz parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 400g/14oz dried spaghetti
  • 1 tbs salt

To serve: extra parmesan, salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil

Method

1: Get your biggest pan and fill it with water. Bring it to the boil, adding the salt when it starts to bubble.

2: Add your spaghetti to the pan. Cook for 9-10 mins, or according to packet instructions and done to your liking.

3: Meanwhile, get a big frying pan/skillet. Heat the olive oil over a medium high heat, then add the bacon/pancetta.

4: Fry the bacon/pancetta for five or so minutes, or until starting to turn golden and crispy.

5: Add the garlic. Fry for a minute or so, then chuck in the parsley.

6: Set aside until your spaghetti is done.

7: When your pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a cup of the cooking water.

8: Combine the bacon/parsley mixture with the cooked spaghetti, tossing together well. Then, OFF THE HEAT, chuck in your beaten eggs and parmesan cheese, adding enough of the reserved cooking water to form a silky sauce. Work fast and keep it all moving!

9: Serve into bowls, seasoning with salt and pepper, extra parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

10: EAT.


At Chez Garrett, we eat this with garlic bread, because double carbs, innit, but I suppose you could have a salad…or eat it like Ash and Pete, on the couch, with a spoon, and a whole lot of love.

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