Monday, February 22, 2010

Linguine alla carbonara di salsiccia (Sausage Carbonara)

A asked if we could try another recipe from Jamie's Italy, and this is what we picked out. Freaking delicious, this is - go and make it as soon as you can. Original recipe is below, with my substitutions in parentheses. The lemon zest and parsley in the sauce really gives this a unique flavor and cuts through the richness of the egg and cream and sausage and bacon.

Linguine alla carbonara di salsiccia (serves 4)

4 Italian sausages (I used 6 Sainsbury's pork with pancetta and parmesan sausages)

4 slices of thick-cut pancetta, chopped (I used 4 smoked streaky bacon rashers)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
455g dried linguine (I used 500g)
4 large egg yolks
100 ml double cream
100g freshly grated Parmesan (I used 40g)
zest of 1 lemon
a sprig of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
extra virgin olive oil (I omitted)

With a sharp knife, slit the sausage skins and pop all the meat out. 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 (or not). Gently fry the sausage meatballs until golden brown all over, then add the pancetta (or bacon) and continue cooking for a couple minutes until it's golden. While this is cooking, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the linguine, and cook until al dente.

In a large bowl, whip up the egg yolks, cream, half the Parmesan (or all of it if you are only using 40g), the lemon zest and parsley. When the pasta is cooked, drain in colander but reserve a little of the cooking water, and toss the pasta with the egg mixture back in the pasta pan. Add the meatballs and pancetta and toss everything together. The egg will cook delicately from the heat of the linguine, just enough for it to thicken and not scramble. If the sauce is too thick, add reserved pasta water, a little bit at a time, until the sauce becomes smooth and silky. Sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan (or not), drizzle with olive oil (or not) and serve. 

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