Rich man’s carbonara

Carbonara con salmone affumicato

Sorry it’s been a bit slow again over the past few days, I’m really not feeling well at all to tell the truth – sore throat, no voice, impacted wisdom tooth… the list of my health woes goes on, but that isn’t what anyone wants to read so now I’ve got my little whine out of the way here is a treat to brighten up your week and make your mouth water…

carbonara al salmone

Carbonara with… smoked salmon. Drool.

This dish is actually almost Scottish than Italian in its inspiration (although now that I’ve googled it I realise that other people have got there before me) and the idea came to me after talking with Roby about one of his all time favourite Scottish breakfast treats – scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on toasted wholegrain bread, accompanied by a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Unless it’s Christmas. At Christmas it’s bucks fizz, mimosa, or whatever other name you want to give champagne mixed with fresh OJ. Booze all the way baby, it’s time to party!

Despite it’s Northern, not to mention wintery inspiration, this version or carbonara gives the impression of being lighter than its traditional Roman cousin, and has a decisive, salty sweet flavour which I just adore. This would be wonderful with an ice cold glass of sparkling franciacorta brut, but I couldn’t have any wine because of the horsepills antibiotics I’m on (I know, I’m whining again).

So here’s how you do it (serves 2):

One largish package of smoked salmon (depends how much you want to spoil yourself)
One clove of garlic
One knob of butter
Four medium eggs
One splash of milk (replace with cream if you feel really decadent)
Six “nests” of tagliatelle
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the garlic, crushed or finely chopped. Keep over a low heat until the garlic starts to soften, being careful not to burn the butter, then turn off the flame.

2. While you wait for the pasta water to boil, cut the salmon into short, thin strips and beat the eggs into a bowl with a splash of milk, a pinch of salt and couple of pinches of black pepper.

3. Once the pasta is cooking, throw the salmon into the pan with the butter and garlic and stir until the salmon is well coated. DO NOT HEAT.

4. Drain the pasta al dente and add to the pan. Pour the egg mixture on top and stir well until all of the pasta is coated. The egg mixture will already start to cook with the heat from the pasta and should start to become opaque almost immediately.

5. Place the mixture over a medium flame, stirring vigourously to ensure that the egg remains a covering for the pasta rather than scrambling seperately in the pan. the key to this is patience – it will take a while but it is worth it.

5. Serve! Preferably with franciacorta brut or some other dry sparkling wine… but you can’t have everything, I suppose…

NB: I would definitely advise Scottish salmon. Yes I am biased but it has a more  decisive flavour than the Norwegian and is less oily than the Canadian (these are great too, don’t get me wrong,  I just prefer the Scottish varieties).




4 Comments Add yours

  1. blaarggh says:

    This looks amazing! It also happens to be one of my husband’s favorite pasta dishes and I can’t wait to make it for him. But – help – what is a knob of butter?

    1. a knob of butter is… well, enough to fry a bit of garlic and give a hint of flavour, but not enough to make it oily if that makes sense? It’s subjective, I just felt that with the salmon butter would be better than olive oil.

  2. Well, I made this for my whole family on vacation and everyone loved it. Because we had so many of us we spread the salmon a little thin but very easy to make and super delicious. We even made 1/2 of it with gluten free pasta and it was still fantastic. Keep those recipes coming!

    1. Glad you enjoyed! It’s great for a large group precisely because it is so easy… I was eating gluten free pasta for a while due to a suspected intollerance while I was waiting for test results, and to be honest the pasta was quite nice. I was really glad to get a negative result though because the bread was awful and I couldn’t eat pizza!


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