Since we must all eat more Omega-3, I was looking for a salmon dish when I started to watch the Puff Pastry episode of French Food at Home. I found my match with the stylish and delicious Salmon en Croute.
Puff Pastry Tips
You can make your own dough but it is quicker to go with store-bought puff pastry sheets. Puff Pastry is hard to make. I do not recommend it for novice. What is great about Puff Pastry is that it produces airy and multi-layer buttery dough. It is delicious. Very French.
If you never work with puff pastry, here are a few tips:
- Work on a very cold marble top – put it on the freezer and get it out just before usage
- Freeze the dough and work fast with cold hands. The dough is hard to handle once it started to warm
- The egg-wash glaze will prevent the rising, so be careful when applying it. You can apply the egg-wash glaze with your hands on the side
- Make sure to pre-heat the oven at a high temperature, typically 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Puff pastry requires a temperature shock to rise properly.
This Salmon en Croute dish is divine. Fresh asparagus and salmon make a wonderful combination. The four main ingredients are asparagus, salmon, creme fraiche and pastry puff dough. Add some seasonings and you are done.
You can serve proudly when you are having guests for dinner. But since it is so easy and fast to prepare, why not reward your family on a week day?
Today, I proposed a classic dish for supper: Bucatini or Spaghetti Alla Carbonara. My favorite Pasta All Carbonara recipe is one inspired by the Remo Contini of Antica Trattoria da Carlone, a restaurant in Rome, Italy.
My recipe comes from a fabulous Italian cooking book that is only available in French. Filled with authentic Italian recipes, Pasta et cetera à la di Stasio was probably under all the Christmas trees across Quebec last year. This recipe reconciled me with Pasta All Carbonara. I started avoiding over the last decade pasta all carbonara because of the profusion of cheap cream recipes in restaurants.
Selecting the pasta
For the pasta, the large surface of bucatini gives more adherence to the sauce. The problem with bucatini is that it is harder to eat; therefore not elegant. Serving bucatini is not a good idea if you are having friends over. Serve spaghetti instead with a bottle of red Italian wine. Yes, try pairing a no-cream Pasta All Carbonara with red wine; you will see it is a delightful match.
My favorite Spaghetti Alla Carbonara Recipe
I translate the recipe with my adaptations from the original A la di Stasio’s recipe.
Ingredients for 2 portions:
- 8 oz (225 g) of spaghetti / bucatini
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) of 1-inch block of pancetta that you will cut in 1/2 inch cubes – if you have no choice, thin sliced pancetta will do
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano – the real thing
- Lots of freshly ground pepper – roughly grounded if you can eat them
- A couple of splashes of olive oil
- Cooking water from the pasta
Step by step instructions:
- Cook your pasta in salted boiling water.
- During that time, put the olive oil on a hot large, frying pan (avoid the non stick pan here). Cook the pancetta at medium-high a few minutes, until golden. You may have to reduce the heat to medium, if you used the thinner pancetta.
- Put the eggs and Parmesan in a large service bowl. Mix with a fork. Add the pepper.
- Remember to reserve a cup of cooking water before your drain the pasta, just in case (see step 7).
- Put the pasta over the pancetta in the pan. Mix them well.
- Now it is time to work quickly. Put half of the pasta in the serving bowl. Toss the egg/parmesan mixture over the pasta to coat all the pasta. Then add the rest and toss again with your fork. It is possible that it takes a few practice runs before you achieve a perfect smooth texture. Therefore, I suggest you do not serve it the first time you prepare this recipe.
- If it happens that the sauce seems too thick, you can drop a little of the reserve pasta water until you get the right consistency. I rarely need to do it.
- Sprinkle Parmesan before serving. Enjoy!
If you prefer a cream recipe, I find a Bucatini Alla Carbonara recipe online that seems excellent. I dug this creamy recipe on David Seah blog. His blog has nothing to do with cooking. David writes about productivity and other methods of empowering yourself. The recipe was made by his sister.
Buy online: Pasta et cetera à la di Stasio by Josée di Stasio
Cooking demonstration photos: Pasta Carbonara from A la di Stasio at Tele-Quebec
Top photo credit: Bucatini All Carbonara by David Seah