Monday, 18 April 2011

Random Recipe Challenge 3 - My First Cookbook

For the 3rd Random Recipe Challenge, Dom asked us all to go back to our first ever cookbook, for many I'm sure this will mean retro recipes galore but since I didn't start cooking until about 4 1/2 years ago, none of my cookbooks are that old.

I thought my first cookbook was this funny little cookie book but I wasn't sure so thought I'd better check with Mr. P. who immediately told me Jamie's Italy was in fact my first cookbook.  He was right, I remember now when he bought it for me, I love Italian food so I was pleased, I love this book and that funny little cookie book isn't the best.


I always aim for somewhere near the middle of the book for these recipe challenges, mainly because I know the cakes and desserts are always at the back of a cookbook and aiming for that bit would be cheating.

 I was so chuffed to land on this gorgeous sausage carbonara, I love carbonara but hubby isn't a fan so I very rarely make it, this was a fantastic excuse and even hubby admitted it was really good, the sausage meatballs are a lovely variation on a beautiful classic. 



Sausage Carbonara - Jamie's Italy

4 good-quality organic Italian sausages

 olive oil
4 slices of thickly cut pancetta, chopped
 sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
 500g dried linguine
4 large free-range or organic egg yolks
 100ml double cream
 100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 zest of 1 lemon
a sprig of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
extra virgin olive oil

With a sharp knife, slit the sausage skins lengthways and pop all the meat out. Using wet hands, roll little balls of sausage meat about the size of large marbles and place them to one side.


Heat a large frying pan and add a good splash of olive oil. Gently fry the sausage meatballs until golden brown all over, then add the pancetta and continue cooking for a couple of minutes, until it’s golden. While this is cooking, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the linguine, and cook according to the packet instructions.

In a large bowl, whip up the egg yolks, cream, half the Parmesan, the lemon zest and parsley. When the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water, and immediately toss it quickly with the egg mixture back in the pasta pan. Add the hot sausage meatballs and toss everything together. The egg will cook delicately from the heat of the linguine, just enough for it to thicken and not scramble. The sauce should be smooth and silky. If the pasta becomes a little claggy, add a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water to loosen it slightly. Sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan, season if necessary, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Eat immediately!

This months challenge really made me look back to a time I couldn't cook at all, just so you all know the full extent of my lack of culinary skill when I was given Jamie's Italy I will tell you this...

I couldn't even cook rice! I couldn't cook anything but my first few attempts at rice were bad, really bad.  I didn't realise you had to let the water absorb and kept topping up the pan with more water as the rice was cooking.  Such a fool!

  I decided to learn to cook because Mr. P. and I had been living together for a couple of years and eating rather badly.  Once I started I couldn't stop and I became completely obsessed with baking and cooking.  I was always amazed and astounded when I created something delicious in the kitchen and every tiny little triumph was like gold dust to me.  I have had so much fun on my culinary journey so far and can't imagine what life would have been like had I not learnt to cook.

I'm going to dig out my first ever cupcake book and bake something form that soon, just for nostalgia's sake really but I can't wait.


7 comments:

Maria♥ said...

My first ever cookbook was How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. That's when I discovered my love for baking and then cooking.

I love carbonara too and this version looks sublime! Definitely book-marking this one!

Maria
x

Pink Fairy Vicky said...

Look how far you have come! I can't remember my first cookbook, my Mum has a huge collection of them so they have always been around me as I grew up.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

I love how this is becoming such a nostalgia trip for everyone this month.... and I live that you're cooking especially for me and not sticking to baking. The sausage carbonara is a genius idea. Good old Jamie eh? Thanks so much for taking part again xx

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

So, did you not start baking until then either or have you been baking longer?
Love the look of that sausage meat - yum!

How To Be Perfect said...

No one in my family ever cooked but I loved to bake as a kid so I felt more confident in that area. I couldn't really do anything in the kitchen when I first started though, I think I have probably baked a lifetimes worth in the last four and a half years lol. X

Michael Toa said...

I love pasta carbonara. I have made this version before and isn't it so yummy?! Man, I am craving for some now :)
Have a nice day!

Brownieville Girl said...

Have to give this one a go - looks lovely!