‘Ciao Bella’, we’ve arrived in Italia, terrific country with passionate people, stylish fashion, wonderful soft light for painting (visit Florence) and colourful food. I’ve backpacked around Italy and lived next door to Italian’s for many years, to know them is to love them. One of my Italian neighbours had an unusual way of parking his car, you know who you are Toni. He would parallel park by hitting the car in front, then hit the car behind, eventually finding a mid-point to bring the car to a standstill. I never parked near his house after watching his daily ritual. His wife made the most delicious tiramisu, and my other neighbour Angela made the best lasagne in the world.
Creamy pasta carbonara
4 smoked rashers of bacon
2 teaspoons of chopped lazy garlic
Low calorie cooking spray
200g dried tagliatelle or fresh pasta if you can find it
100g frozen peas
150g button mushrooms halved
2 slender leeks thinly sliced
2 large eggs beaten
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
50ml Elmlea, double cream alternative
Salt and pepper
- Spray frying pan with cooking spray, add garlic, bacon, leeks and mushrooms, cook for 4 minutes.
- Cook pasta in microwave according to packet instructions, add peas for last 2 minutes, drain. Add pasta to frying pan.
- Beat the 2 eggs, cheese and Elmlea in a bowl, pour over contents of saucepan to warm through on low heat. Add salt and pepper.
- Serve with garlic bread and salad.
I wasn’t able to buy tagliatelle or bacon, or mushrooms, or leeks, or eggs or parmesan cheese! So instead I combined chunks of chicken (3 chicken breasts), 1 chopped onion, 3 dessertspoons of pesto, 2 teaspoons of lazy garlic, cooked in a frying pan with low calorie spray, added half a broccoli broken into florets, sliced lengths of yellow pepper, a can of sweetcorn. Cooked the dry pasta in the microwave and drained, added the pasta to the pan and poured 1/3 tub of Elmlea over it, with black pepper and salt. Served with garlic bread and salad of a handful of fresh spinach, 3 leaves of iceberg lettuce shredded, 2 tomatoes cut into quarters, 2 spring onions and sliced cucumber. Served with a glass of Italian red wine, a meal fit for a king.