Antonia Landi

Posts Tagged ‘good’

Real spaghetti carbonara – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on November 6, 2011 at 1:21 am

Picture: bbcgoodfood.com

If you think you’ve had this dish before, think again. Carbonara just happens to be one of the most misunderstood Italian dishes in the world. So much so, that most sauces and recipes widely available have little in common with the original. Real carbonara is deliciously creamy and oh so moreish – and it can be done in just ten minutes.

You will notice from my recipe that there is no cream involved in this dish – that’s right, not even a single drop of cream. ‘But, how else would I be able to make a creamy sauce?’ I hear you say. And here’s where I let you in on the secret of first class carbonara – use eggs. Do you remember how we made custard last week? Heat the milk, stir in the eggs and let it thicken. Well this is a similar concept. Again, the last thing you’ll want to do is to make the eggs coagulate. In other words, solid bits are not allowed. As long as you stick to my instructions, you’ll get perfect carbonara, every time. And what a delight it is to eat!

Whenever I explain to people how to make authentic carbonara, most of them look at me with a disgusted look in their face. Barely cooked eggs? Are you mental? But trust me, once you’ve tried it you’ll never go back to those horribly gelatinous white sauces that you can buy in a supermarket. The combination of the egg and the cheese, which will just slowly melt into the sauce, delivers such a great result that will leave you with a plateful of pasta finely coated in the simplest, and quite frankly, greatest sauce for a satisfying midweek meal. And if on your way to carbonara heaven you encounter any sceptics just ask them this: Do you eat custard? Good! IT’S THE SAME THING.

Feeds 2:

180g Spaghetti (I use DeCecco)

1 pack cubed pancetta (equivalent to approx 100g)

Generous handful of grated pecorino Romano

Knob of butter (optional)

2 fresh eggs

2 garlic cloves

Plenty black pepper (salt is optional, as the pancetta and pecorino are quite salty themselves)

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

I don’t know about you but I love to find out where a dish comes from! I won’t spoil anything, so here’s a great link about carbonara and its origins.

For this recipe you’ll want to get the freshest eggs possible. If you’re not sure just how fresh your eggs are, take a look at this site, which should help you out.

And finally, here’s an article about one of my favourite rant subjects! Do you think you know Italian food? Check out this link to find out!

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

Mascarpudding (with berries!) – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on May 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Fancy something sweet? Me too!

Since this is already my fourth video, I thought it was time to whip up something deliciously sweet. Today we’re going to make Mascarpudding, which doesn’t actually exist – until now! The main ingredient for this dessert is of course mascarpone, and mascarpone is something nobody can really explain.

It’s a bit like the Italian take on clotted cream, but is often referred to as soft cheese, which it definitely isn’t. Mascarpone is incredibly versatile and can be used in sweet as well as savoury dishes. Now before you start running away from this highly exotic mystery non-cheese I should probably tell you that you’ve already tried it! Mascarpone is most commonly used to make Tiramisù, an Italian favourite.

I have decided to use berries in my recipe today for three reasons:

1. Due to the wonderful early spring we’ve had, Britain will experience a wave of sweet (straw)berries that are desperate to be bought.

2. There are so many berries you can choose from! Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries… (ahem)

3. They will forever be my favourite kind of fruit.

This isn’t to say that you can’t mix it up a bit. For a more summery take on my mascarpudding, try using mangoes and pineapples instead, and flavouring the mascarpone with honey instead of vanilla! There are no boundaries to your imagination – you could even try using a rhubarb and apple compote with cinnamon if you’re feeling brave.

Feeds 2

400g mascarpone, lightly whipped (if you find it’s still too stiff after 5 minutes, add a spot of milk)

400g berries, or fruit of your choice

4 flat tbsp sugar (add the sugar to the berry mix 10 minutes before layering)

1 vanilla pod

For best results, let the dessert set in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

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