Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Test Kitchen #3: Linguine Carbonara with Mushroom

Like I have said before, I cook out of necessity and interest, not because I am talented. It is natural for me to seek simple recipe. I found that cooking pasta is easier than our traditional Malay dish. Don't get me wrong, I love Malaysian food...but almost all Malay complete meal consist at least 2 dishes (rice and a lauk), and cooking rice for one is such a waste.

 Why pasta? Noodle, pasta, mee hoon and all related species of carbohydrate in various shape and size of dough (fresh or dried) are more or less the same thing. But one thing that distinguish pasta with ordinary noodle...pasta have more solid texture and not readily expand (soggy) than noodle. It is more filling than noodle (in my opinion) and can be kept fresh for a long time.

For me, Italian love for food is amazing. Throughout the world, Italian food are well known for its exotic taste and hearty meal. A cheese lover like me, basked in Italian dishes as it is practically coated with every cheese imaginable.

I will share my venture in cooking Linguine Carbonara....sounds real fancy, right? But it is really simple. Linguine refers to a type of pasta whereas carbonara refers to a type of pasta sauce. Linguine is a flat version of spaghetti. In this test, I am using spinach based linguine. To tell the truth...it tasted fibrous. Carbonara is basically a white sauce made from eggs, cheese, bacon (by strict definition, is not halal...but here in Malaysia, there is so-called bacon made from chicken~check out Ayamas product). The taste is basically creamy cheesy, with hints of black pepper.

But my version here omits the use of eggs and bacon. Here is my list of ingredients: Spinach linguine, garlic, butter, full cream milk, capsicum (bell pepper), black pepper, fresh white button mushroom, cheddar cheese (if you like can use parmesan), salt, corn flour.

First: Cook the pasta in boil water. Don't forget to add in salt and some oil in the water. The salt adds flavor while oil prevents pasta from clumpin together
Second: Sautee mince garlic in butter. Once it fragrance, low the fire (prevents seperating of oil in sauce) add in mushroom, full cream milk (to the amount of sauce you need) and black pepper. Cook till all mix well. Then add capsicum.
Third: Add in corn flour (it must be diluted in some kind of liquid, in my case, I scooped out some of the sauce from the pan ~ to prevent flour clumps in sauce). 
Fourth: Add in cheese and later salt to your taste. Cook till it is thickened.

Remember, you want the sauce to be thick enough to cover all parts of linguine. If your sauce appears runny, then you need to cook it a little longer or add in more corn flour. But be sure to do it in low fire.

See you in my next test kitchen soon.

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