Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What to eat Wednesdays - Fresh fettuccine carbonara

Yesterday I boldly wrote on Destitute Gourmet's Facebook page that I was attempting her fresh pasta recipe and would be blogging about it here today.

So how did it go? Let's just say I'm glad that at the end of DG's YouTube video she recommends starting out small, not attempting this recipe for a dinner party of six. My husband and flatmate were very gracious towards me, saying they didn't mind the fettuccine carbonara and I should make it again as it had real potential to be something delicious. 

I made the pasta too big (too fat in all directions). I also made the sauce too thin. If I swapped those too dimensions around, it would be fantastic. 

Fettuccine ingredients
  • 1 cup of plain flour per adult
  • 1 egg per adult
  • Big pinch of salt

Tip the flour onto a clean bench and form a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and beat with a fork, adding the flour to form a dough. (You might not use all the flour, just however much it takes to bind the dough together.) 

Sift the flour that's leftover into a bowl to separate any smaller dough pieces and tip these onto your dough ball.

Knead the dough for about five minutes, until it is smooth and satiny, able to bounce back when you press it with your finger.

Leave the dough to rest for between 5 to 20 minutes. (This is a good time to start cooking your chicken for the carbonara.)

Once the dough has rested, use a rolling pin to roll it out until it is thin and stops shrinking back in on itself. (Watch DG's YouTube video for a great tip on how to hold the dough in place while your roll it.) 

Loosely fold the dough over on itself a couple of times and cut into very thin strips.

Before cooking the pasta, make the Carbonara sauce

Carbonara sauce

  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts, skin on 
  • several sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 100g chopped bacon (I didn't use this)
  • 1.5c chicken stock
  • 1c cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 600g fresh fettuccine

Tuck a sprig or rosemary under the skin of each chicken breast. Put one tablespoon of oil into an ovenproof dish and place the breasts skin-side up in the bottom. Roast for 30 minutes, or until just cooked. (I only used one free range chicken breast to keep costs down, and it was skinless so I lay the breast on the rosemary sprig and basted a couple of times during cooking.)

Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes to let the chicken reabsorb its juices. 

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the sauce.

In a frying pan heat the remaining oil and saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the chopped bacon and when that is soft, pour in the chicken stock and stir to lift any sticky golden bits from the bottom of the pan.

Simmer for 2-3 minutes then reduce the heat and add the cream.

Add a few tender rosemary sprigs and simmer gently. Season with salt and pepper.

When the chicken is rested, slice into small chunks and add to the sauce. 

Whisk the egg yolk and stir into the sauce.

Unfold the pasta and cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for a couple of minutes, until al dente. Drain and return to the saucepan. Pour the sauce over and gently fold through. 

Serve on warmed plates or a platter. Spoon plenty of chunky pieces over the top and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.


  1. Yum, it looks great Emma. I quite like fat pasta!
    I have seen Sophie Gray demonstrate pasta making twice now and both times I've gone home all inspired but I found my pasta never worked out as well as hers did, it is hard to roll it out thin enough.

  2. Oh yay! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has struggled with it. It's funny, now that the fettucine is all gone, I'm actually craving it again. It mustn't have been too bad after all.

  3. Where did you see Sophie Gray present? I'd love to see one of her demonstrations.


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