Tag Archives: fresh pasta

Finally… Pasta Carbonara!

One of our favorite followers, Chris from Key West, has asked us to show him how we make our Pasta Carbonara! The thing is… that he actually asked us this a couple of months ago! We feel awful that it took so long to get up here, but truthfully this is not a dish for the diet conscious! So we waited to make it for when we had guests over to share the indulgence!

Here in the video, Harris shows you how to make a perfect Pasta Carbonara! See below for the recipe!

While our recipe calls for Hog Jowl, aka Guanciale at the Italian market, you can use Pancetta or a quality bacon.

Ingredients

(Serves four)

3 – tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

8 ounces Guanciale (which is cured pork jowl) or Pancetta or good Bacon

1 pound Spaghetti or pasta of choice

1 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

4 – Large Eggs (room temperature)

Freshly ground Black Pepper

2 – tablespoons Kosher Salt

Frozen peas (Optional)

Directions

The Dads Tip: Guanciale is our first choice, but it may be difficult to find. Try your local pork butcher. Also, adding half the olive oil at the end adds that fresh olive oil flavor!

Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot and add 2 Tablespoons salt to the pasta water. Cook the spaghetti/pasta in the boiling water until just al dente.  

Meanwhile, combine half the olive oil and bacon/pancetta in a 12- to 14-inch skillet on medium heat.  Cook until the bacon/pancetta has rendered its fat and is crispy and golden.  Place cooked pork on paper towels to drain, set aside.  Retain about half of the dripping for coating the cooked pasta.

In a bowl, mix together the cheese, eggs, and pepper until smooth.  We like to add just a little bit of the hot pasta water to help temper the egg mixture.  This will prevent the eggs from cooking when added to the hot pasta.

When the pasta is done, reserve a cup of the pasta water.  Drain the pasta and place it in a bowl or back into the pot.  While the pasta is still really hot, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture, stirring the pasta the whole time.  The sauce will become very creamy as it coats the pasta.  If you need to loosen it up a bit, you can add some of the reserved pasta water. 

Now add the peas (optional) and crispy bacon to the mixture.  

Serve immediately and sprinkle the top with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese!

The Dads Pasta Carbonara

Love this recipe? Follow us and share it with your friends! Let us know how it came out and send us some pictures! Questions? Ask The Dads in the comments or e-mail: HarrisandDave@gmail.com

The Best Fresh Pasta: The Dads Tested- Italian Grandmother Approved!

We just ventured into making our own pasta and did a lot of experimenting! After trial and error, here’s the best fresh pasta recipe we found out there! Have you made pasta from scratch? Tips you would like to share? Send us an e-mail or leave a comment above! Enjoy!

The Dads Pasta

Ingredients:
• 3 ½ Cups Unbleached all-purpose flour (we prefer King Arthur)
• 5 Extra-large Eggs, Farm Fresh if you can get them
• ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
• 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Directions:

Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board or the center of your countertop.

Make a well in the middle of the flour; sprinkle the salt over the flour.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk your eggs and olive oil together and gently pour into the well (be careful not to let the egg mixture burst through the wall of your well).

Using a fork, begin incorporating the flour starting with the inner rim of the well and working your way out. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape so the eggs don’t escape. If they do, don’t worry – keep on going and it will still come together.

As all the flour gets incorporated, you will have to begin using a kneading action with the palm of your hand as this will become a bit of a difficult mass to work. Parts of the mass will also become dry bits but just keep incorporating them.

Now use both hands to knead the dough, primarily using the palms of your hands. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board/countertop and scrape up any leftover dry bits and discard them. Lightly flour the board, if necessary, to prevent sticking and continue kneading for another 5 to 6 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and wrap securely in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. If you’re not planning to work the dough and cut into pasta at this time, you can refrigerate the dough overnight and cut the next day, but not any longer as it will turn dark in color.

Next is the fun part and that’s cutting the pasta! If you have a machine, make certain to use the rolling press, starting with the largest opening and slowing stepping down to the smallest opening. Once fully kneaded by the machine, select the size cutter to use and begin rolling the dough through the cutter.

We found it’s really helpful to have a second person working with you at this point as when you’re cutting the pasta it helps to have someone else holding and pulling it from the cutter as it cuts so as not to have it clump under the machine.

Then, hang to dry on racks or cook fresh. For a drying rack, we just used a rack from our oven turned vertical and hung the pasta over the rack. For the pasta that we were cooking right away, we just laid it out on baking sheets and cookie racks.

The Dads Pasta

The above recipe makes approximately 1 pound of fresh pasta.

Our Fresh Pasta Journey in the Harris & Dave Test Kitchen!

The Dads: Harris & Dave decided to learn how to make pasta and share with you. We’ve all watched the cooking channels and saw how easy it is to make so we decided to see if all that is true. We downloaded several recipes and began our experimentation.

We tried the method of using the food processor and realized you run the risk of burning out your motor and it’s not that much easier. Using the method of creating a well in the center of your flour directly on your countertop or cutting board and slowly working the egg into the flour worked just fine.

We also tried using different flour: Bread flour, All Purpose flour, and Semolina flour. We found we got the best result from using straight All Purpose flour. We were disappointed as we thought Semolina would be more authentic Italian but what we learned is Semolina was too coarse for this application and made the pasta too difficult to work with.

We tried recipes that called for Olive Oil to be added to the recipe. While we liked the flavor that added, it did make the pasta just a little more difficult to work with so we found less was better.

DSC01230

We experimented with the number of eggs to use. While we loved the taste of more eggs, we had to balance that against tenderness of the noodle and pliability for cutting in the pasta machine.

We also experimented with cooking the pasta fresh right after you cut it, freezing before drying the pasta and drying on racks. We found if you’re not going to cook it right away, it is definitely best to let the pasta dry before freezing or it will stick together when you go to cook the pasta.

The end result is the pasta recipe which we will upload tomorrow! Stay Tuned!

Dave

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