Last week I went over to cook with my newly married friends, the Belsky family. I love cooking with friends, especially when we are making separate parts of the meal. This way, we don’t have to end up in a fist-fight over who has the best technique or which recipe is better (can you tell I am super competitive). Kaitlin stuck to what she knew, the carbonara, and I worked on with the pasta. Kaitlin and Peter also got a little lesson on how to make pasta from scratch! It was great having Peter around because we used him to finish kneading the pasta. I like making pasta but my weak little girl muscles just can’t handle the burn, which is why its great to have big, strong men around to help out in the kitchen.
When we finally finished drinking and cooking away in the kitchen, it was time to eat. The fresh pasta was cooked to perfection and the carbonara sauce was marvelous. You can never really go wrong with homemade pasta and once you start making it…you can’t stop. Kaitlin’s carbonara was bacon-licious. I felt like I was in heaven. The beer we chose was Colette, a Farmhouse Ale by Great Divide Brewing Co. I knew I wanted a farmhouse style brew to go with this meal, and Colette was a great choice. It has notes of citrus and honey that complemented the sweetness of the peas but also is full of yeast flavor that always goes great with bacon. I love pairing farmhouse ales with hearty, rustic meals. The peppery notes in the ale always seem to enhance these types of dishes wonderfully. By the end of the night, I was pleasantly plump and pleased with what we had created in our culinary and beer collaboration.
Here is Kaitlin’s Carbonara recipe:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 cup baby peas
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
Cook pasta, and reserve 1/2 c. pasta water.
While letting the uncooked pasta rest (or, if using hard pasta, while it is cooking), Cook chopped bacon in large skillet until slightly crisp.
Remove bacon from pan and drain, reserving ~3 T. bacon fat (more if you’re feeling excited); add 1T. olive oil and heat in reused large skillet. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent.
Add minced garlic and peas, and cook 1 minute. Add wine and cook 1 minute. Turn the heat off and leave in the skillet.
Return bacon to pan and toss into ingredients. Whisk together egg yolks and parmesan cheese.
Whisk the hot pasta water into the egg yolk mixture until well combined. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and toss with the bacon mixture quickly, until the thickened.
Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pasta.
2-2 ½ cups of flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste
I’ll definitely need to post a video about how to do this, but for now, follow these directions:
Pasta Old Fashioned Way:
Put about 2 cups of flour in a bowl and spread out around the edges so there is a hole in the middle, kind of like a nest. Crack two eggs in the center with a tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Slowly whisk the eggs in the middle and incorporated a small bit of flour at a time. You want to make sure that you’re not bringing in large clumps of flour because this will mess up the texture of your pasta. When it is no longer smooth enough to stir, place the pasta on a well-floured cutting board and start to knead. When you get sticky areas, add more flour. Knead for 15-25 minutes. The kneading process stretches out the proteins and brings the pasta to the correct consistency. You’ll know to be done kneading when you poke the pasta and it becomes so elastic that the hole you poked bounces right back. After this, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. When resting is complete, run it through the pasta maker first to flatten it and then to cut the noodles. If you don’t have a pasta maker, use a roller to get the pasta about an 1/8th of an inch thick, and use a knife to cut the noodles into shape. To cook the homemade pasta, it only takes about 3-4 minutes. If you take out a noodle and break it apart, it shouldn’t be floury on the inside. Or you can just bite into it like I do.
Pasta the New Way:
If you have a multiple blade blender (like a Ninja) or a food processor, throw in two cups of flour, two eggs, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Pulse until well combined. You may need to add another ¼ cup of flour if the dough is too wet. Take it out and follow the directions above. You should find that the kneading time will be reduced by half when you start with a food processor/blender instead of doing it all by hand. If you’re lucky enough to have a KitchenAid Mixer, throw the dough in with a bread hook and have the machine do all the kneading for you. Its great to first learn how to make the pasta by hand but once you start making it on a regular basis, the appliances become an amazing help and everything goes much faster. Good luck and feel free to message me with any questions!