Spaghetti alla Carbonara

• 1 pound dry spaghetti
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
• 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian “al dente.”)
2) With five mintutes to go, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame.
3) Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered.
4) Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.
5) Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.
6) Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat.
7) Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps.
8) Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.)
9) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency.
10) Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt.
11) Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

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Grilled Halibut with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

Grilled Halibut with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

How to Make Grilled Brussels Sprouts


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil or 3 teaspoons dried
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers
  • 4 5- to 6-ounce halibut steaks (about 3/4 inch thick)


  1. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic cloves and grated lemon peel in small bowl to blend.
  2. Stir in 2 tablespoons fresh basil and capers.
  3. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
  4. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler.
  5. Season halibut steaks with salt and pepper.
  6. Brush fish with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette, dividing equally.
  7. Grill or broil halibut steaks until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
  8. Transfer fish to plates.
  9. Rewhisk remaining vinaigrette; pour over fish.
  10. Garnish fish with remaining 1 tablespoon basil and serve.

Lessons Learned

  • This works!
  • 4 minutes per side is fine

Roasted Potatoes

As seen on The Food Detectives:

Use Maris Piper potatoes for roasting.

Peel them.

Poach in salted water for 20-25 minutes.

Allow to dry.

Put them in a pan with lots of hot, cheap oil.

Cook at 200 degrees C for 45 minutes, turning over midway.

They should turn out to be crispy on outside, nice and soft in the middle