Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Creamy Bacon and Basil Pasta

I ate this at Blue Skies (Grnd Flr/ Murray Street Pier Hobart, (03) 6224 3747) restaurant in Hobart and was instantly transported to food heaven. I asked the chef for the recipe, he said "throw this, this, and that in a pan and keep adding a bit until you like the taste". Wise man.

But I was faced with a dilemma - each time I make this it's quite nice (although just NOT on par with the restaurant), but I have NO idea of the quantities. So I asked Mellie for her opinion. And I'll do my best to follow her advice. It really is a "feel your way" type of dish. So stay with me, and if you want to try this do it, and don't be afraid to experiment. The key is to keep taste testing, and it'll all be fine. The whole dish doesn't take long to prepare - put the water on to boil for the pasta, start on the sauce, and it all ends up ready at the same time.

Creamy Bacon and Basil Pasta
Bacon (chopped as chunkily as you like). Pancetta is also nice
Milk (or cream if you want a richer sauce)
Fresh basil (or basil pesto.... there's a difference?!?!?! hehe) Dried herb can also be used, but it's not as nice
Sweet chilli sauce
Pasta (I like spirals, or lasagnettes, but use whatever you like)

Start boiling water for the pasta. Chop up the bacon (I prefer the rindless stuff) and get rid of as much fat as you can. Cook it slowly in a frypan until it's cooked. I prefer a low heat so it doesn't go hard and crunchy. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool slightly. Add the milk - the amount you add will be approximately how much sauce there is. I think I usually go with about a cup for a 2-person serving. Add the basil and a dash of sweet chilli sauce.
I have found it's best to add the basil in small amounts, testing after each addition for flavour. Same with the chilli sauce! Keep that cooking over a low heat, stirring now and then (by now the pasta should be cooking).
To thicken the sauce up a little I put a small amount of milk into a cup and add about 2 teaspoons of cornflour. Mix it with a fork or small whisk until it's smooth, then add it to the bacon pan. This helps the sauce thicken slightly.
Let the bacon sauce simmer slowly until the pasta is cooked. Drain the pasta then return it to the saucepan. Add the bacon sauce and toss to mix.
Dish it up in a nice bowl with a sprinkling of grated or shaved parmesan. Tres magnifique. Or something.

Again, sorry the recipe is a bit muddled, all I can say is that you really should try it, and experiment with the flavours. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Things a bit quiet on the blogging front...

I know I've been quiet lately on here... not cooking, nothing since that book review. When I started this I was hoping to post about twice a week. I think I have a pretty good excuse though... my house is finished, and I'm busily moving in and unpacking. It's a big job... and most of my stuff I haven't seen in years, as it's been in boxes and storage. Some things I haven't seen in... wow, 3 years? 4 years? Either way, it's a journey of discovery in many ways, finding things I forgot I had.

And while I did christen my kitchen last night, it was hardly a blog-worthy effort: bottled bolognese sauce, mince, and pasta. While it was quite yummy I don't think I can really take much credit for it!

So keep checking, and soon things will be back to normal on my All My Interests. Until then, wish me luck, and if you want to lend a hand, come on over!