I’ve just realized that I’ve been banging on about homemade pasta the last few weeks and I’ve neglected to share any sauce recipes. Sorry about that, I’m clearly the worst kind of person.
Now, as far as I’m concerned there are only two categories of pasta sauce; tomato vs cream, and occasionally a blend of both. If you can master the basics for these two you will never need to buy nasty store bought jars of coagulated shit again. You know the one’s I’m talking about!
Seriously, making your own pasta sauce isn’t rocket science. You only needs a few ingredients, most of which the average kitchen would have readily available. In the time it takes to heat up those nasty pre-made sauces, you could have whipped up your own fabulous concoction that would make even the toughest Italian mama weep with pride.
Fresh is best! A basic pasta sauce only needs a few things; garlic, onion, wine, tomatoes (fresh or tinned) or cream or both. Once you’ve nailed one recipe, you can easily mix it up with nearly anything available. All you need is ten minutes and voila, your ready to feast!
Zucchini Bacon Carbonara
- 1 teaspoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
- 8 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1/2 a brown onion, finely diced (you can use spring onions instead)
- 1 zucchini, deseeded and finely diced into 5mm cubes
- 3 rashers of free range bacon, diced into cubes
- 100mL of white wine (I always have a clean-skin on hand for cooking, or a leftover bottle)
- 300mL of thickened cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino to taste
- handful of fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Heat a large skillet to high. Add in your olive oil and butter and zucchini, cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Don’t forget to cook your pasta at the same time in salty boiling water. If your cooking fresh homemade pasta, it should only take a few minute to cook, so you can leave this until your sauce is nearly ready.
- Cook your onions for a minute or two, then add in your bacon. Allow all ingredients to cook for a further two minutes.
- Add in your garlic, don’t let it burn. Let it cook for a minute, then add in about a 1/4 of your wine. Allow it to reduce, then add in a little more. Continue to add a little bit of wine at a time, allowing the sauce to reduce in between. (The hotter and wider your skillet the quicker the sauce will reduce).
- Start to add a little of you cream at a time. Allow the the sauce to reduce in between additions. Once all your cream is added the sauce should start to form large bubbles - this is good, the cream is reducing and becoming thicker. Allow to bubble for a minute or two, stirring only slightly.
- Toss your drained al dente pasta through your sauce. You can keep the pasta on the heat if your would like the sauce to thicken further. (Adding little of the water from cooking your pasta can help the sauce to stick to the pasta).
- Serve your pasta with fresh basil leaves (optional), Parmesan or Pecorino and salt and pepper to taste.
I’ve been cooking my Zucchini Bacon Carbonara with my Roasted Beetroot Pasta, which is indulgently delicious (there were some rather suspicious sounding moans omitting from my mouth in between bites). This sauce is fantastic with tortellini or ravioli. Buon Appetito!