There’s not really a food that I enjoy more than a delicious, steaming bowl of hearty pasta. Simple yet elegant, creamy yet versatile. And the best part is the whole family love it as much as I do and it’s such a quick and easy meal to pull together with minimal ingredients. I’ve played around with different methods and elements to perfect this recipe but there’s really no need to over complicate things and I’ve found a generous helping of scrumptious Grana Padano gives it a wonderfully creamy depth of flavour that keeps me coming back for second helpings.
Why Grana Padano?
For this recipe I’ve used Grana Padano Riserva which is matured for over 20 months (giving it a really full flavour). After 9 months all Grana Padano wheels undergo strict testing, only after passing these tests can they be fire branded with a mark that guarantees the quality, by the Grana Padano Protection Consortium’s experts – without this fire-branding, the cheese cannot be called or sold as Grana Padano.
Grana Padano Riserva is aged for a minimum of 20 months and at the request of the producer, undergoes further testing. If they pass these further tests, they will be fire branded with the Riserva mark.
It’s completely carbohydrate free and it’s even suitable for people who suffer from lactose intolerance due to the characteristics of its production and its long ageing period, making it lactose free.
Grana Padano is recognised as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product and is the world’s best-selling PDO cheese. Its PDO status means that it is essentially and exclusively linked to the area in Northern Italy where it is produced, which ensures the ultimate in quality, authenticity and traceability, making it an ideal ingredient in meals and snacks around the globe.
Delicious Carbonara Pasta With Grana Padano
300g fresh spaghetti, you can use whole-wheat if you wish.
125g Grana Padano cheese, finely grated
3 large free-range eggs
100g Cooked chicken or bacon if desired or prosciutto if preferred. (You could also use just cooked peas.)
2 garlic cloves
1 Knob of salted butter
Pinch of salt & pepper
- Place a large pan on the hob with some salted water and bring to the boil, if using dry pasta start to cook now for 12 minutes, if fresh this will only need 3-4 minutes.
- Take a large bowl and crack in the eggs, gently beat and add the grated Grana Padano
- Season the mixture (I like to use white pepper here so that the children don’t protest!)
- Meanwhile crush in your garlic and add the melted butter, frying over a low heat in a frying pan or large saucepan for a couple of minutes until softened – careful this doesn’t catch on the bottom. Mix in your cooked meat if using (or peas)
- Drain the cooked pasta (check it’s cooked al dente – firm to bite) and keep aside the cooking water
- Now, this is the tricky bit so follow carefully to ensure your eggs don’t cook too fast and leave you with scrambled egg – add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to your egg mixture and stir gently through, add a couple more if necessary to get your perfect consistency. Once finished, add your cheesy egg mixture back to the empty pasta pan, tip the cooked pasta back in and your buttery garlic (with meat if using) and gently stir it all together.
- Finally, gently stir through on a low heat until the sauce has thickened, then you’re ready to serve with an extra grating of Grana Padano Riserva to finish it off – delicious!
This is by far the children’s favourite quick and easy homemade dinner for when I’ve totally forgotten to take anything out of the freezer, it’s so versatile I love mixing it up and adding things like prawns or asparagus to create a whole new meal and adding dough balls or garlic bread if I have them.
I’d love to know what your go-to recipes are for quick and easy family meals. If you would like to win a bundle of goodies from Grana Padano including 400g of the delicious cheese plus branded merchandise such as lunch boxes & baseball caps leave me a comment below with your go-to favourite meal.
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