The perfect Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

I’m currently working with ASK Italian to promote their brilliant campaign to #Respectthepasta! A couple of weeks ago I visited my local ASK Italian in order to tell you about their delicious menu. This week I wanted to share some tips for cooking the perfect pasta at home.

cooking spaghetti

ASK Ambassador Theo Randall, has had a huge hand in creating some of the delicious menus at ASK Italian, he has also created a set of rules for creating perfect pasta:

Pasta DO:

-Use LOTS of boiling, well-salted water
-Cook for two minutes less than the packet instructions and finish cooking in the sauce with a spoonful of cooking water -Enjoy immediately in small portions in warm bowls or plates – “pasta waits for no man”

DO NOT

-Tip pasta into a colander to drain it – use tongs or a slotted spoon to take pasta out of the water -Test ‘done-ness’ by throwing pasta onto the walls
-Use too much sauce – coat the pasta, don’t drown it

Using the rules above I was tasked with creating the pasta dish of our choice. I turned to the ASK Italian cookbook and chose the recipe for Spaghetti Alla Carbonara, my husband’s favourite Italian dish. It’s a simple, classic recipe which we’ve made many times before. We opted to leave out the parsley but we did use cream, I didn’t realise this was a controversial ingredient!

cooking spaghetti alla carbonara

We followed the recipe which meant we cooked the pasta the ASK Italian way. I’ll hold my hands up and admit to usually over-cooking pasta so cooking it for slightly less than normal meant it tasted perfect and slightly al dente. This is a great classic recipe and I would definitely recommend trying the pasta rules next time you’re cooking at home.

 

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Dyeing eggs for Easter

I know my children don’t have a clue about Easter but that hasn’t stopped us enjoying some Easter crafting. Yesterday we tried our hands at decorating and dyeing hard boiled eggs. This was actually quite quick so the children were able to follow the whole process. I thought I’d share it here as my two really enjoyed it.

Dyeing eggs for Easter

You will need:
eggs
Scotch Magic Tape
scissors
vinegar
food colouring

First hard boil the eggs. I boiled them for 10 minutes then placed them in a sieve and ran cold water over them for a minute before leaving them in a bowl of cold water for another 10 minutes.

When they are cool you can start to decorate them. My 4 year old loves to practise his cutting so I gave him small pieces of Scotch Magic Tape which he cut into triangles and different shapes and placed on the egg.

decorating Easter eggs 4

We then placed each egg into a tall glass of cold water mixed with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a generous portion of food colouring.

decorating Easter eggs

After an hour we took the eggs from the water and removed the Scotch Magic Tape to reveal our designs.

decorating Easter eggs

Scotch Magic Tape is great for crafting with children as it doesn’t stick to itself and is instantly reposition-able, so if you make a mistake it’s quick and easy to fix!

If you try this yourself my top tip is make sure you squeeze out any air bubbles under the tape otherwise the dye will leak through and spoil your design.

We were sent the samples of Scotch Magic Tape for some Easter crafting :)

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How to make your own Easter eggs

I think it’s fair to say we’re enjoying our Easter holidays. The 4 year old was in desperate need of a break from his nursery routine (he attends for five afternoons a week) and we’ve been crafting, to the beach, seen family and friends and for the first time, made our own Easter eggs!

Have you ever tried using a chocolate mould before? We found it surprisingly time consuming as each layer needs to be left to solidify before another one is added.

“Daddy, me have more chocolate please!”

making chocolate easter eggs 2

It was great fun though and there was plenty of chocolate left over which made the children happy as they could lick the bowl. As the shells were so fragile (one broke whilst getting it out of the mould) we didn’t join two to make eggs, instead decorating the shells flat. This meant it was much easier for small hands to hold onto. We used icing tubes as glue to stick on a sweetie face.

We were sent the Easter Egg Kit from #stayinhappybunnies to take part in this fun craft activity

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