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The glow of a fireplace, the sting of brisk air hitting your cheeks, the frost exiting your mouth as you step outside, the crack of wood as the axe glides straight through, the smell of a home made meal on the stove.The sound of kookaburras laughing in the background, snuggling up by the fire, watching nature at its finest with a delicious cup of coffee. Yep, that’s right, I’m at my favourite place . Hello Margaret River, it’s so good to see you again my friend.

For those stalking me on Instagram (or Facebook or Twitter… or any other form of social media I may be on… because one is not enough) will already know that I recently spent some time in the great South West of Australia and for those not yet stalking me I ask you why not? I promise I won’t spam you too much *insert creepy winky face*. Having done the wine tours and sight seeing last time we were determined to make this time round all about relaxing. We’d planned to venture out only a few times to gather essential supplies, see the beach and get some wood fired bread from a little bakery in Yallingup… Of course with my excellent planning skills we arrived on the only day it was closed… my bad… bread from the local super market was almost as good… At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

The scenery down south was at its finest, as was the weather, just cold enough to snuggle in front of the fire place and there was barely any rain. I got to don the flano and unleash my inner caveman, chopping wood, starting fires, not shaving, foraging (the supermarkets), carrying my man tool on my belt (for those of you in the gutter this is a man tool) and hunting (the best cut of meat at the local butcher). This was all perfect practice for when I eventually find my investor… (you’ll all be surprised to know that there has been no luck just yet).
Now I’m going to ask you all a very simple question… but first I must set the scene. It’s currently 5.27pm, the sun is fading into the horizon, it’s a cool 6’c, the sky glowing pink, the crackle of the fireplace in the background and glass of wine sitting on the corner of the coffee table yelling out “drink me, drink me”. There is only one thing missing… That’s right the perfect meal. What would be your perfect meal in this situation? Let me know in the comment right down the bottom of this page and I might even give the best answer a gold star! (I’m generous like that)…
As for my perfect meal, it had to be something packed with flavour, reasonably quick  (don’t want to miss the sun set or let my wine go warm!), something that soothes the soul, and something that you can slurp… because the best foods are slurbable. For me it had to be a pasta dish, and the winning pasta was a super simple Carbonara. For all you purists out there you’ll be happy to know that I didn’t use a single drop of cream… Enjoy.

Serves 4


The Great South West – Spaghetti Carbonara

30 minTotal Time

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  • 150g speck, diced into small cubes
  • 1 large garlic glove, finely diced
  • 1 good glug of olive oil
  • 1 pinch of pink salt (white salt also works)
  • 2 free range eggs (if you used caged eggs we are no longer friends)
  • 1 handful of roughly chopped parsley, plus a little extra to garnish
  • 1 handful of Parmesan cheese
  • 500g spaghetti
  • 1 sprinkle of pepper

Now What?

  1. Place a large pot of water on the stove (this is for your pasta) and start to bring to the boil.
  2. In a large frying pan over a medium low heat, add the olive oil and speck and heat for about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. (the speck should be starting to look crisply and delicious). Remove from heat and set aside
  3. In a separate bowl, add the eggs and whisk gently, then add the parsley with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  4. Once your water is boiling add the pasta and cook according to packet directions.
  5. Once your pasta is cooked add it to a bowl then add the speck and garlic and give it a good toss then add the egg mixture and cheese and give another good toss, the egg will cook with the heat of the pasta. (if you leave it on the heat it will scramble... insert sad face).
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of pepper and another handful of parsley.... oh and another glass of wine.


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