“Stack’s Carbonara” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

Nicholas (9): (Looking suspiciously at his plate) Do you remember that time you made white bean soup and it tasted of nothing so we had cereal instead?

Maureen: But I don’t think that is going to apply in this case. This definitely does not taste of nothing.

Nicholas (skeptically): We’ll see about that, won’t we.

Maureen: I think it will be delicious. What do you think?

Nicholas (with great surprise): It’s quite good!

Andrew (12): Yup. I agree. It’s pretty good.

Maureen: This is a very strange way to do carbonara because you use cottage cheese. But it’s so good, I don’t care. This is great.

Tim: Of course it’s good! It’s got bacon and cheese in it.

Maureen: Well, actually, it’s not bacon. It’s fancy bacon– pancetta. But I think the addition of the cottage cheese almost makes it healthy.

Tim: You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s good, but it’s rich.

Maureen: I am definitely making this again.

Stack’s Carbonara from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

Serves 4

300-400g spaghetti (depending on appetite)

50g butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

140g pancetta, cubed

2 garlic cloves, crushed

500g cottage cheese

300ml single cream

A good grating of Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of slated water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente following the instructions on the packet.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large frying pan and melt the butter. Cook the union until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the pancetta and the garlic. When softened and browned add the cottage cheese. Keep stirring until the cottage cheese has melted and the mixture has come together. It will look watery at this stage, but don’t be alarmed!

Add the cream, keep stirring and reducing until it has thickened to your liking.

Grate in the parmesan, add a good crack of black pepper and cook until thick and cream. And in Stack’s words, ‘BOOM!”

Stir the sauce into the cooked spaghetti and serve immediately.

This is what it looks like after adding the cottage cheese– all watery and slightly strange. Do not despair. It works out fine.

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“Stack’s Carbonara” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

“Smoked Salmon”, “Potato Salad”, “Beets and Cottage Cheese”, “Rye Bread and Homemade Butter” from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals

Time taken: 33min 22 secs. (not including prep time)

Anna: Bloody Jamie. He’s gone too far this time.

Kirstin: I love this recipe. I would DEFINITELY make this again. I’d make this every day. For a week.

Anna: What did you like about it so much?

Kirstin: I thought the flavours were great. And, home-made butter.  Even though it took most of that half an hour figuring out how to fit the whisk attachment to the food processor. I would definitely make my own butter again! And it was a joy to take pictures in the daytime. Just a joy with natural daylight.

Anna: What a mess though!

Kirstin: You just put it into the dishwasher! It was fine….

Anna: But if you don’t have a dishwasher, you’ve got a food processor and a whisk and your hands covered in sodding butter. Anyway, tell me about how you draped the salmon in rustic waves…. and the erratically chunked beetroot….

Kirstin: Yeah, nevermind.

Anna: Really, this recipe was just about assembling various pre packed ingredients, with a bit of potato-boiling and butter-making thrown to make look more like cooking. It’s no wonder it only took half an hour.

Kirstin: It was good though, it was yummy!

Anna: I agree, but it was more faff than it needed to be. Honestly.

Kirstin: Well I’d like it again please. I wonder if I should make my own butter again. The cottage cheese!

Anna: It was just cottage cheese, with some seasoning.

Kirstin: And the beetroot with balsamic vinegar!

Anna: Yes. Exactly.  Too much faff.

Kirstin: It was pretty exhausting. Did we win the cuddly toy?

“Smoked Salmon”, “Potato Salad”, “Beets and Cottage Cheese”, “Rye Bread and Homemade Butter” from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals