Baked Broccoli Carbonara
Carbonara, that perfect mixture of eggs, Parmesan and pancetta, is a popular standby in many households. This recipe is a version of carbonara but adds broccoli and becomes a bake. The result is a simple but pleasing meal thats likely to be popular with all ages.
Broccoli, or calabrese as it is also known (after the Italian region from which it originates), has its British season in summer going into autumn. At this time of the year you should be able to get the first of the new season English crop which really is a treat. Broccoli is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants which is why it is cooked for only a couple of minutes before being baked.
This recipe is excellent served with a simple tomato and basil salad.
* 300 g spaghetti
* 500 g (approx.) broccoli
* 150200 g (approx.) free-range rindless smoked back bacon (depending on taste)
* 80 g Parmesan4 free-range eggs
* 200 ml double cream
* 200 ml milk
* salt and pepper
* tomato salad with basil
GET AHEAD PREPARATION (optional)
The whole dish can be made a day in advance ready to be baked, though it will require about 30 minutes to heat through. If you only have a little time:
* Prepare and cook the broccoli.
* Grate the Parmesan.
35 minutes before you want to eat
* Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
* Break the spaghetti in half and cook according to the instructions on the packet usually for about 10 minutes in salted boiling water.
* While the spaghetti is cooking, break the broccoli into small bite-sized florets and rinse under a tap. A couple of minutes before the pasta is cooked drop the broccoli into the pan.
* While the broccoli cooks, heat a frying pan and when it is hot use a pair of scissors to snip the bacon into the pan. Cook until crisp.
* When the pasta and broccoli are just cooked, drain well and tip into a large ovenproof dish.
* Grate the Parmesan. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk thoroughly with the cream, milk and Parmesan. Season very well.
* Scatter the bacon over the broccoli and spaghetti, followed by the egg mixture.
* Bake in the oven until set this should take about 20 minutes.
* Serve with a tomato salad.