Jamie Oliver's Sweet Leek Carbonara with Fresh Thyme, Garlic, Cracked Black Pepper and Parmesan
|4 sprigs||fresh thyme|
|1 knob||unsalted butter|
|50g||Parmesan or pecorino cheese, plus extra to serve|
Trim, wash and finely slice the leeks. Peel and finely slice the garlic and pick the thyme leaves, then place in a large casserole pan on a medium heat with the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil. Once sizzling, stir in the leeks and 400ml of water, then cover and simmer gently over a low heat for 40 minutes, or until sweet and soft, stirring occasionally. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
When the leeks are almost done, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mugful of starchy cooking water. Toss the drained pasta into the leek pan, then remove from the heat and wait 2 minutes for the pan to cool slightly while you finely grate the cheese and beat it with the egg (if the pan’s too hot, it’ll scramble; get it right and it’ll be smooth, silky and deliciously elegant).
Loosen the egg mixture with a splash of reserved cooking water, then pour over the pasta, tossing vigorously (the egg will cook in the residual heat). Season to absolute perfection, going a little OTT on the pepper. Adjust the consistency with extra cooking water, if needed, and finish with a little stroke of cheese.
Fantastic served with a glass of cold Italian white wine.
Tip: often I triple the leek base and freeze it for quick cooking another day.
To make vegetarian: swap Parmesan or pecorino for vegetarian hard cheese.
ENERGY 418kcal • FAT 14.4g • SAT FAT 6g • PROTEIN 17g • CARBS 58.9g • SUGARS 4.4g • SALT 0.8g • FIBRE 2.3g