Noella Goveas is my little sister. She is taller than I am by a foot and half, and inspires me in more ways than one. She is my best critic and brings me back to reality when I lose myself. This is because she is a very practical person and this rings true even when she cooks. Noella wasn’t much of a cook in Mumbai, but living on her own in a foreign land made her develop her culinary skills. Her cooking is simple, practical and seldom boring.
Pasta is one of my favourite foods and I think my sister was instrumental in getting me hooked on to it when I visited her in Ngukkur – an aboriginal town in the Northern Territory in Australia, when she made Carbonara for me.
Here is a recipe for pasta, by my sister. She calls it Carbonara because it has bacon, though it isn’t the traditional Carbonara at all. This is an easier, practical version of the traditional Italian dish.
The best part is that it is a one-dish meal – you can pack in meat and vegetables into one wholesome dish.
Here’s the bacon carbonara recipe:
100 gms bacon (diced)
250 gms pasta (penne, rigatoni, spaghetti etc)
1 medium sized onion
5-6 Garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup fresh cream
Half a cup grated cheese
Optional: Grated carrot, zucchini, peas, one beaten Egg
Salt and pepper, oregano if you fancy.
1. Cook the pasta separately in water with a little salt and olive oil. Salt brings out the flavor of the pasta and the oil will not allow the pasta to stick
2. Drain the pasta, wash the pasta in cold water and set aside
3. Fry the diced onion and garlic in some hot olive oil till translucent.
4. Add the diced bacon to the pan and stir fry till cooked/ slightly crispy
5. At this stage you could add grated veggies like carrot and zucchini or just peas, especially if you want the whole family to be eating it including children.
There could be two ways of completing the preparation
6. Add cream to the pan and let it thicken for a few minutes.
7. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir it in with the cream and onion and bacon mixture. Stir in some grated cheese and let it melt into the cream with the heat turned off
8. Add salt and pepper to taste
9. Serve hot with sprinkled oregano
6. Add the cooked pasta to the onion and bacon mixture.
7. With the heat turned off, pour the beaten egg over the pasta and stir it slowly till the egg coats the pasta.
8. Add grated cheese to this mixture and let it stand.
9. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Oregano if you want it. Serve hot.
This is a far cry from the traditional creamy carbonara, but is a great way to recreate the flavor at home. This is a great idea to sneak in vegetables into pasta for kids. A quick and easy meal to make, when you are in the mood for Italian and have pasta packets sitting in your kitchen cabinet!