I think it’s fair to say we’ve all had enough of leftovers now. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the plethora of delicious goose and ham that has graced my plate over the past five days, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing so for last night’s meal, I decided to experiment with something new that still adhered to my Dad’s Christmas rule – ‘we will not buy ANY more food until EVERYTHING is gone’.
Spaghetti Carbonara is simple to make and even easier to adapt, so below I give you my British equivalent, which uses leftover free range ham – ours was cooked with mustard, cloves and demerara sugar – Burford Brown eggs and Davidstow Vintage Cheddar. The only thing Italian is the pasta, which happened to be Bucatini on this occasion as it was the only type in the larder. From the silence that fell over the dinner table, accompanied by the emptied plates at the end, I can only guess my alternative Carbonara went down well. So, if you too find yourself in leftover hell over the next few days and happen to have the four simple ingredients that make up this dish, I urge you to give it a try as I’m sure your family will thank you for the change.
Serves 4-6 adults (depending on how piggish everyone’s feeling)
- 500g of Spaghetti (you can really use any kind of pasta, but long and thin is best)
- 250g of grated mature/vintage Cheddar (this isn’t a meal for someone on a post-Christmas detox)
- 4 or 5 large slices of ham, torn into bite sized pieces (honey roasted or mustardy ham works best as it adds to the flavour)
- 6 eggs, beaten
- Add all the pasta to a very large pot of boiling water, sprinkled with salt
- In a bowl, add the cheese to the beaten eggs, stirring well
- When the pasta is cooked, drain loosely so it retains a little water, before putting it back into the pot over a low heat
- Pour the cheese and egg mixture over the top of the pasta and start to stir
- Add the ham and keep stirring until you can see the egg starting to cook – the aim is to end up with a creamy sauce, not egg fried pasta
- Add some salt and pepper to taste, then ladle into bowls and serve