Quarantine Cuisine: How Chase Hospitality Group chef de cuisine Felicia De Rose makes her quickie carbonara
We’re asking Toronto chefs to show us what they cook up using basic pantry supplies while they self-isolate at home
Like many of us, chef Felicia De Rose is confined to her home. We asked the social-distancing chef to whip us up a meal with ingredients she already had on hand. Her recipe: a plate of easy-to-make carbonara.
Carbonara reminds chef Felicia De Rose of her dad. “He would make this for me and my brothers on a weekly basis—it was his go-to quickie dinner,” says De Rose. “It was one of my favourite meals as a kid. It reminds me of home and being with family; all of us gathered around the dinner table.” Best of all, it’s easy to make and enjoy. “It’s just simplicity and deliciousness on a plate.”
And just like her dad, De Rose ends up making it for others more often than for herself. “It’s a favourite for staff meals, and I love feeding it to friends and family, too. I love watching their faces as they tuck into the lush, rich strands of pasta.”
200g (7 ounces) of your favourite dry pasta (De Rose likes fettuccine)
2 large eggs
2 tbsp chopped parsley
3 slices of prosciutto, sliced thinly (it’s what De Rose had kicking in the fridge, but you can use pancetta or bacon)
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
⅓ cup diced white onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chilli flakes, to taste
3-4 tbsp grated parmesan, and about 1-2 tbsp extra to finish the dish
Fill a medium pot with about six cups of water and 1/2 tbsp salt, and bring it to a boil.
While the water is boiling, get a medium-sized bowl. Add the eggs, parsley, grated parm and a pinch of salt and pepper. Beat until fully mixed.
De Rose says that while you wait for your water to boil…make yourself a cocktail! Her go-to mix is Great Jamaican ginger beer with a couple of glugs of Bulleit rye. Cheers!
Meanwhile, in a large pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Then toss in the onion, your pork of choice and the garlic. Sautée it all for 6 to 7 minutes.
When the water comes to a boil, drop your pasta in and cook for 6 to 7 minutes (or as the package directions advise) until it’s al dente. Taste-test a strand, like so:
Drain your noodles, making sure to save about a cup of the pasta water.
Now add your cooked pasta to the pan.
Slowly pour in your egg mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon. Then—and this is the most important thing to remember—immediately turn off the stove heat. (Otherwise you may end up with scrambled eggs instead of sauce.) The key here is to use just the residual heat. Slowly stream the egg mixture in while stirring. Add a bit of the pasta water if you need to loosen up the sauce, ensuring it stays creamy instead of clumpy.
If you do happen to mess up and make eggs instead, here’s a tip from De Rose: “Who cares? Enjoy it regardless, and be proud of your creation. And consider it a good excuse to make this dish again!”
Finish with butter or olive oil, giving it one last toss to mix everything thoroughly. Plate it up immediately, grate fresh parm on top and sprinkle with chili flakes if you want to add a little kick.