Posts Tagged ‘Bacon’

Orecchiette with Greens

Serves 2

Orecchiette pasta either freshly made or good quality dried pasta
Speck (smoked), pancetta, or good quality smoked bacon rinded and cut into small batons.
Olive oil
Garlic clove finely chopped
1/2 – 1 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped or a pinch of dried red chilli flakes *
Green vegetables:  Cima di rapa and/or Broccoli / Broccolini / Chicory, stems removed, heads separated into small florets and any leaves cut into large pieces.
Basil pesto (basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper) *
1/4-1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind *
White wine *
Fresh continental parsley, chopped
Cream *
Salt & pepper
Pecorino or Parmesan  cheese, shaved or grated
* Optional

Cook the green vegetables in salted boiling water until just tender. Remove the greens from the pan and refresh in iced water.  Drain and set aside.  Keep the water boiling ready to cook the pasta.

Add the orecchiette to the pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Dried pasta will take about 15-18 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, heat butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the garlic and chilli until softened and the flavours have infused.

Add the speck/bacon/pancetta and fry on a medium heat until golden brown and the fat rendered.  Alternatively, a couple of anchovies can be substituted for the cured meat and stirred until melted.

Add the green vegetables to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until heated through.  A splash of white wine can be added at this point and reduced slightly.

Stir in the cream, pesto and finely grated lemon rind.

Drain the orecchiette and add to the pan.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add chopped parsley and toss well.

Spoon into pasta bowls with cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and glass of red wine – not optional!


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Poached egg with bacon, croutons and tomato tea

Poached egg with bacon, croutons and tomato tea


Tomato Tea
Vine ripen tomatoes and stems
Garlic (thick slice)
Wedge of red onion
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco (alternatively use chilli)

Ripe tomatoes
2 Eggs
Thyme (2 sprigs)
Slice of lemon peel (without pith)
Garlic (thick slice)
Baby Celery leaves

To make the Tomato Tea:
Quarter tomatoes, removing the cores (which are bitter) and place into a food processor along with red onion, handful of basil leaves, garlic, splash of Worcestershire sauce, couple drops of Tabasco (or chilli) and salt. Puree in the blender.

Lay some muslin cloth over a bowl and place reserved tomato stalks (flavourer) on cloth and add tomato puree, straining the mixture until almost a clear liquid is left.

Finely dice (or slice) bacon and set aside.

Cut rectangle, thick chip sized croutons from bread.

Blanch tomatoes, then core and remove seeds and cut tomatoes into matchsticks.  Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt flakes.

In a non-stick pan, add a little olive oil and fry bacon with lemon peel and garlic until bacon is crisp.  Add a sprig of thyme towards the end of cooking the bacon (herbs should be added at the end of cooking rather than at the start so the aroma isn’t cooked out). Set bacon aside and keep warm.

Using the same frying pan, add more oil and fry croutons with another sprig of thyme.  When croutons are crisp and golden brown, drain, set aside and keep warm.

Bring a saucepan of water to the simmer.

Poach two eggs.
(Eggs can be poached using cling wrap method – cut a piece of cling wrap, rub with a little olive oil and place cling wrap over a small brulee bowl. Break an egg into the cling wrap. Then gather up the cling wrap, expel the air, twist the top of the plastic, knot it then push the knot down tightly towards the egg. This method produces a smooth and well presented egg.)

Place the cling wrapped eggs in the simmering water (just enough to cover the eggs) and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes.

Remove eggs from the saucepan and cut the plastic knot off and carefully peeled off the wrap, revealing the poached egg.

Assemble the poached egg salad in a pasta bowl, stacking the tomato matchsticks and croutons, then carefully place the poached egg on top and then pour in the tomato tea around the stack.

Sprinkle fried diced bacon over the dish and garnish with baby celery leaves.

My interpretation of the recipe as seen on MasterChef Australia on Ten

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