Carolina's Chorizo Carbonara with Pear Salad
( SERVES 4 )
This creamy and delicious pasta pasta has a dash of Spanish flair, using chorizo instead of the classic bacon for an extra dose of flavour and fun.
- Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Finely chop the mild chorizo. Finely chop the brown onion. Finely chop the garlic. Thinly slice the pear. Finely chop the chives. In a large bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Add the penne to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until 'al dente', 10 minutes. Reserve some pasta water ( 2/3 cup for 4 people), then drain the pasta and return to the saucepan. Drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. TIP: 'Al dente' pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm in the centre.
- While the pasta is cooking, crack the egg into a medium bowl and whisk with a fork. Add the grated Parmesan cheese, pure cream, chicken-style stock powder and season with pepper. Mix well and set aside.TIP: Keep in mind that chorizo is also salty, so add less stock, depending on taste! TIP: Using more cream will dilute the flavour.
- In a large frying pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over a high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until golden, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high, then add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and baby spinach leaves (reserve a handful for the salad) and cook, stirring, until fragrant and wilted, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the cooked penne to the chorizo and toss to coat. Reduce the heat to low, then pour in the carbonara sauce and some reserved pasta water ( 1/3 cup for 4 people). Cook, stirring, until thickened, 5-6 minutes.TIP: If the sauce looks too thick, add a splash more reserved pasta water until the sauce is creamy and silky.
- Add the reserved baby spinach leaves and pear to the dressing and toss well to combine. Divide the chorizo carbonara between bowls. Garnish with the chives and serve with the pear salad.