Spaghetti Carbonara

Less than a week to go!

So with less than a week to go, I am more focused than I have ever been.

Training regime wise, it’s all about the “taper but don’t get confused. This is not about the style of trouser I plan to wear on the day.

My personal trainer Michelle said “a week before the event, cut right back on the amount of activity. No long or heavy sessions” which sounds great to me, not quite putting my feet up but definitely planning to rest up at Duck HQ.

She has also told me all about carb loading. She says that 3 days before the event I need to increase the amount of carbs I eat at every meal. I need to make sure I hydrate well too so I will be sipping water throughout the day.

So, with this in mind I thought I would share my favourite pasta recipe with you all: SPAGETTI CARBONARA, the clue is in the name.

§ 1 Tbsp olive oil or unsalted butter
§ 1/2 pound pancetta or thick cut bacon, diced
§ 1-2 garlic cloves, minced, about 1 teaspoon (optional)
§ 3-4 whole eggs
§ 1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
§ 1 pound spaghetti pasta (or bucatini or fettuccine)
§ Salt and black pepper to taste

1 Heat pasta water: Put a large pot of salted water on to boil (1 Tbsp salt for every 2 quarts of water.)

2 Sauté pancetta/bacon and garlic: While the water is coming to a boil, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon or pancetta and cook slowly until crispy. Add the garlic (if using) and cook another minute, then turn off the heat and put the pancetta and garlic into a large bowl.

3 Beat eggs and half of the cheese: In a small bowl, beat the eggs and mix in about half of the cheese.

4 Cook pasta: Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the dry pasta, and cook, uncovered, at a rolling boil.

5 Toss pasta with pancetta/bacon: When the pasta is al dente (still a little firm, not mushy), use tongs to move it to the bowl with the bacon and garlic. Let it be dripping wet. Reserve some of the pasta water.

Move the pasta from the pot to the bowl quickly, as you want the pasta to be hot. It’s the heat of the pasta that will heat the eggs sufficiently to create a creamy sauce. Toss everything to combine, allowing the pasta to cool just enough so that it doesn’t make the eggs curdle when you mix them in. (That’s the tricky part.)

6 Add the beaten egg mixture: Add the beaten eggs with cheese and toss quickly to combine once more. Add salt to taste. Add some pasta water back to the pasta to keep it from drying out.

Serve at once with the rest of the parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

If you want, sprinkle with a little fresh chopped parsley.

If pasta is not your thing, don’t forget on Duck Race Day that the ever-popular BBQ will be “on-fire” and the cake stand is shaping up to be the best stocked yet. There will also be sack loads of sweets and copious bags of candy floss so something to tickle every palette.

Mmmmm my taste buds are racing!

Sam the Duck

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