July 4, 2010

Sausage Cabonara

This is one of my favourite dishes to cook, because while it is very rustic and requires only basic cooking skills to prepare, the end result is impressive and pleasing to the eyes, as well as the taste buds. There's nothing much like a big bowl of perfectly cooked pasta in a smooth and silky egg sauce. I thank Jamie's Italy for this recipe idea!

Serves 4:
- 4 good-quality Italian sausages
- Olive oil
- 4 slices of thickly cut pancetta, chopped
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 500g dried linguine
- 4 large free-range 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!

Sausage Cabonara

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