RUKMINI'S BLUE CHEESE CARBONARA

MEET THE CHEF

Now a staple of the kitchen cookbook, London-based Rukmini Iyer has achieved huge culinary feats since competing on the show back in 2013. Nearly a decade on from her time with MasterChef, Rukmini’s acclaimed Roasting Tin series has gone on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide, bringing flavour-intense one-pot cooking to the kitchens of veggies and meat-eaters alike. One of Britain’s bestselling culinary authors, Rukmini’s ethos is simple: “minimum fuss and maximum flavour”. 

Always true to her Indian heritage, Rukmini’s flavour choices were bold throughout her run on series 9, citing her experience at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School as paramount in improving her skills both a commercial chef and home cook. However, her busy career and life as a parent has dramatically informed the convenience chef we now know her as today. 

Rukmini has most recently expanded into the world of baking, releasing her ever understated ‘The Sweet Roasting Tin’ in 2021 to rave reviews. Continuing to blaze the trail for MasterChef alumni, Iyer’s career as a best-selling author, food stylist and home economist for major television commercials and feature films shows no sign of stalling anytime soon.  

ABOUT THE RECIPE

A favourite from Season 9 of MasterChef, this veggie take on a traditional Carbonara is the perfect representation of Rukmini’s culinary stylings. Bold on flavour but accessible in technique, Rukmini’s carbonara show the flare of a professional chef with the intuitions of home economist. This delicious dish is super quick to whip up, uses minimal equipment and is a perfect family meal for any night of the week. Drawing upon accessible supermarket ingredients, this wholesome and protein rich dish proves that the key to a memorable dish is flavour balance. Cutting through the richness of blue cheese with the acidity of the lemon and peppery rocket, this pasta dish is a perfect example of how to elevate your evening meals with a few smart insider tricks.

THE RECIPE CARD

Servings

4

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes

1 Saucepan, 1 Baking Tray, 1 Chef's Knife, 1 Sieve, 1 Measuring Jug, 1 Whisk, 1 Large Pot, 1 Mixing Bowl

Author:

RUKMINI IYER

Ingredients

  • 3.5 oz Hazelnuts
  • 14 oz Penne (or other pasta of choice)
  • 7 oz Tenderstem Broccoli (Finely Chopped)
  • 2 Medium Eggs (Whisked)
  • 3.5 oz Blue Cheese (Crumbled)
  • 3.5 oz Rocket (Finely Chopped)
  • 1/2 Lemon (Juice Only)
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive Oile Extra Virgin

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan/180C.
  2. Tip the hazelnuts onto a baking tray, then transfer to the oven to toast for 7-10 minutes.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, roughly chop into large pieces.
  4. Meanwhile, bring large pan of salted water to the boil, and add the pasta. Cook according to the packet instructions.
  5. Add the broccoli a minute before the pasta is ready.
  6. Drain well, reserving 100ml of the cooking water, then return to the pan and stir through a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  7. While the pasta is cooking, whisk the eggs with the crumbled blue cheese and season well with freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Add the blue cheese sauce to the pasta, and stir vigorously to coat.
  9. Add the reserved cooking water a tablespoon at a time until the sauce clings to the pasta.
  10. Stir through the rocket, ¾ of the chopped hazelnuts, lemon juice, honey and a little more extra virgin olive oil. 
  11. Taste, and adjust the salt, lemon juice and honey as needed.
  12. Serve immediately, topped with the remaining chopped hazelnuts.