Orange dinner – carrot pasta

We’ve managed to do a good rendition of a delicious meal server by Capitol (minus the chilli).

Penne with carrot & pancetta

For 2 people

  • Enough penne for 2 people (just under 2 cups)
  • 2 or 3 large carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices pancetta
  • Grana padano or parmigiano reggiano or other good quality parmesan (block)

The trick to this recipe is giving the carrots enough time to cook so that they’re quite soft and will taste sweet.

Put the water on to boil for the pasta. Finely chop the garlic, slice the pancetta and grate the carrots. Just before the water boils, heat the butter and oil in a large fry pan over medium heat and when it’s melted add the garlic and pancetta. Fry stirring constantly until the pancetta looks cooked which is hopefully just before the garlic turns brown. You don’t want the garlic to turn brown. Hopefully the water has just started to boil at this point too!

Drop in the pasta to boil for 12 minutes. Add the grated carrot to the fry pan with the garlic and pancetta and stir for 2 or 3 minutes. Turn the heat low and cover the fry pan with a lid to cook for the remaining time left on the pasta – at the very least, 10 minutes. The condensation in the fry pan with the lid on will provide moisture for the first few minutes, after about 5 minutes, lift the lid and scoop off a couple of serving spoons of boiling pasta water and add this to the carrots. Add a couple of good pinches of sea salt and grinds of pepper, stir and return the lid.

Using a potato peeler, shave 8-10 slices of parmesan and set aside ready to go on top of the completed meal. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, remove the lid from the carrot mixture, add the cooked pasta and a dollop more olive oil, turn off the heat and stir to coat pasta in carrot. Serve sprinkled with another grind of black pepper and 4 or 5 slices of parmsan.

It’s quite hard to be exact with my oil and salt measurements as I’ve just made this recipe up and dollop and sprinkle without measuring. When eating the pasta it should be slippery and not too dry but not swimming in oil.

Note: the original recipe at Capitol definitely had chilli flakes in it. If you wanted to do that too I think I’d add it at the garlic and parmesan stage.

YUM. Must remember to post a photo next time I make it!


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