Saturday, October 11, 2014

NEW RECIPE: Orechiette "Carbonara" with Italian Sausage, Carrots, and Leeks

© Constantine William Spyrou

A lot of the time at my apartment, I enjoy cooking things that are simple but pack a lot of flavor. Over the past week, I got to try this out on one of my favorite cuisines to cook: Italian. I attempted to make a carbonara sauce for the first time over pasta.

A carbonara sauce is pretty simple to construct: The basic flavorings for it are cream, pancetta, parmesean, and an egg mixed in right at the end. On its own, its a rich and luxurious sauce. But elevating it with the sweetness of carrots and leeks and some savory sausage will make it a true treat! 

The pasta I chose for this is orechiette, which is a small, curved, lid-shaped pasta. It takes creamy and chunky sauces well because of the curved lid shape, and goes brilliantly with all of the textures at play in this dish! 

Recipe serves 4-6 people.

For the Italian Sausage:

1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon sage
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

For the Carbonara:

1/2 cup chicken stock
3 oz pancetta, diced
1 leek, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrot, diced
Italian Sausage from above
1 package orechiette
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (or Parmesean)
Salt and pepper to season


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine all of the ingredients for the Italian Sausage. Flatten out onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool, and crumble into small pieces
3. Cook the orechiette according to package instructions in seasoned water.

4. Add the pancetta to a hot pan on medium-high heat. Cook until the fat is rendered out, about 2-3 minutes.

5. Add in the leeks and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Saute until soft, about 6 minutes.

6. Add in the Italian Sausage and mix to combine.

7. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Add in the cream, and bring up to a boil, stirring constantly to mix the sauce through the meat and vegetables thoroughly.

8. Simmer for 4 minutes, then quickly stir in the egg and remove off of the heat.

9. Mix with the orechiette, and serve!

This dish combines a large amount of flavors to get an even balance of savory, creamy, and a touch of sweetness. The egg is the binding ingredient that helps make everything rich, with the aromatics and savoryness of the sausage providing the herby notes needed to lift the leeks and carrot. The vegetables, in turn, complement the pork with the mild sweetness they provide to the dish.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =) 

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