Cooking Time: 20 minutes (or 1hr if making your own pasta)
Difficulty: Pretty easy. The pasta is a work-out!
FOR THE PASTA:
• 600g high grade flour
• 6 large free range eggs
• 2 handfuls spinach leaves
(or you can just buy fresh egg spinach fettuccine pasta from supermarket)
FOR THE CARBONARA:
• Enough pasta for 2 people
• 1/4 cup canola oil (enough to coat bottom of frying pan / skillet)
• 4 rashers of thick smoky bacon (chopped into strips)
• 5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
• 1 TSPN chilli flakes (or fresh chilli)
• 1 TSPN Lucky Taco Jalapeño hot sauce
• 1/4 cup tequila (or dry white wine)
• Juice of 1 lime
• Zest of half a lime
• 2 large free range egg yolks
• Freshly grated Romano / Parmesan cheese (a few good handfuls)
• Handful roughly chopped Italian Parsley to garnish
• Cracked black pepper & sea salt to taste
FOR THE PASTA:
• Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add spinach & a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes. Then remove the spinach with some tongs and dunk into a bowl of ice cold water.
• Place spinach into the centre of a clean tea-towel. Wring it dry - so there is no moisture left in the spinach whatsoever.
• Place spinach into a food processor and crack in 2 of the 6 eggs. Blitz until a smooth paste.
• Tip flour out onto clean large surface. Make a well in the centre and crack in the 4 remaining eggs. Then add the spinach paste.
• Working from the outside in, scoop the flour into your fingers towards the centre and mix your dough until everything is combined.
• Knead the pieces of dough together. This is WORK-OUT. You should get your sweat on! Channel you inner Nonna and smack that dough around. You need to develop the gluten in the flour - otherwise you won't have nice, light, springy pasta. So pull it. Stretch it. Squash it. Let out the days grievances on this piece of dough and you will taste the reward of your efforts!
• It's ready when it's smooth and soft - instead of floury and crusty.
• Make 4 separate ball shapes. Each ball will be enough pasta for 2.
• Wrap each ball with cling-film. Put one of them in the fridge to rest for half an hour and place the other 3 balls in the freezer (to save for another pasta date).
• If you haven't got a pasta machine - not the end of the world! Just lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out the pasta with a rolling pin. You want it super thin (few mm thick). Then fold over again and again and cut into fettuccine strips using a sharp knife. (A pasta machine makes this easy).
• Work the dough through your pasta machine from setting 7 (the widest), down to 1 (the thinnest). Then it's ready to put through the fettuccine setting. This is easier if there are 2 people. One holding a bowl underneath to catch the pasta.
• Once made, separate the noodles with flour. Take care with this. You don't want them to stick together - it won't make nice eating. Wrap the bowl with cling-film and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
FOR THE CARBONARA:
• Heat a large frying pan / skillet over medium / high heat. Add the canola oil and bacon.
• Then add chilli flakes (or fresh chilli). Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add tequila (or white wine) & Lucky Taco Jalapeño Hot Sauce, lime zest & juice. Stir up all the drippings. It should be spitting and splattering. And the bacon should be golden brown. BUT your garlic shouldn't be. So add that now while the liquids have just gone in. Take real care not to brown the garlic - otherwise it'll taste bitter. Keep stirring. Once done, turn off the heat.
• Put a large saucepan of water on the boil. Add a shit load of table salt.
• In a small side-bowl, beat yolks and add 1/2 cup of the salty pasta water. This will temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling when added to the pasta.
• Add pasta to the water and cook for approx 3 minutes. Fresh pasta doesn't take long. If using store bought - then follow the instructions on the packet.
• Taste the pasta - you want it just al-dente.
• Drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the frying pan with all that lovely stuff.
• Pour in the tempered egg mixture and mix well with tongs. Add grated cheese & season well with salt & pepper. Continue to toss & turn the pasta until all glossy & coated.
• Serve up 2 big lovely portions. Garnish with parsley.