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‘Pasta’ Carbonara with Pork Belly

January 26, 2011
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I’m not much of a pasta eater. Most of the time I find it a little bland, a little boring. Every once in awhile though, I’ll get inspired by a recipe and hope that it will be the one that will change my mind. Well, I haven’t found it yet. So if you have one you think I might love, please let me know (it’s more likely to work with me if it’s spicy).UPDATE! I found ‘the one’ pasta recipe. You can read all about it here

In the meantime, here’s a recipe from Epicurious I tried recently for Spaghetti Carbonara with Pork Belly (I used bow tie pasta ’cause it’s what I had in the pantry). Definitely yummy…..just not yummy enough to be ‘the one’. Decadent and rich, this recipe is also time consuming due to the curing of the pork belly. If you don’t feel like being Charcuterie-ist (is that a word) you can substitute bacon*.

Pork belly
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 pound fresh pork belly

1 small onion, quartered
1 small carrot, peeled, quartered
1/2 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons (or more) dry white wine
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine

Spaghetti carbonara
1 pound spaghetti
1 1/2 cups fresh shelled peas (from about 1 1/2 pounds peas in pods) or 1 1/2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed

2 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

For pork belly:
Rub coarse salt and coriander into pork belly. Cover and chill at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 275°F. Place pork belly in large ovenproof saucepan. Add onion, next 5 ingredients, 2 tablespoons wine, and chicken broth. Bring to boil, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until pork is very tender when pierced with fork, turning every 30 minutes, about 2 hours 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Cover and chill at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
Discard any solidified fat on surface of pork belly mixture. Remove pork from cooking liquid, scraping any gelatinous mixture back into saucepan. Rewarm mixture in saucepan just until melted. Strain liquid into measuring cup. Add white wine if necessary to measure 1/2 cup. Cut rind and all but 1/4-inch layer of fat from pork belly. Slice pork crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, then cut slices crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork belly and cook until browned on all sides, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add pork cooking liquid and 1/4 cup wine. Bring to boil, then cover and keep warm.
For spaghetti carbonara:
Cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Add peas; cook 1 minute longer.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs in large bowl. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, and parsley; set aside.
Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Whisk 1/4 cup hot cooking liquid into egg mixture. Add pasta; toss to coat. Add mixture to skillet with pork and toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Season generously with black pepper. Divide among bowls and serve, passing remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese alongside.

Read More More
Mix 12 ounces diced browned bacon, 2 tablespoons drippings, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and 1/4 cup dry white wine in large skillet. Bring to simmer; keep warm. Cook pasta; proceed with recipe

Read More*

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