I've talked before about my love of Irish black pudding. The rich blood flavour, the spiciness, the oaty crumble, what's not to love? Thanks to my lovely friend Ann, I found myself with a relatively large stash of Clonakility (my favourite brand). A miserable evening necessitated an old-school dinner of a fried egg, thick slices of black pudding (fried, no grilling here please) and buttered soda bread but even with my glutinous portions I still had plenty left for black pudding experiments.
I had an idea that black pudding could work really well in place of pancetta in spaghetti carbonara. I ended up making three versions of the dish and while they were all gorgeous, tagliatelle was the pasta which stood up best to the spicy punch of the pudding. I started off being much more generous with the black pudding but it was actually too rich, approx 1/3 of a pudding for two people is plenty. The parsley lifts the colour and the flavour of the finished dish.
120g black pudding, preferably Clonakility
30g Pecorino Romano, finely grated (Parmesan would also work)
2 eggs, beaten
large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
Cut the black pudding into thick slices. Fry in a little oil until the visible grains are brown and crispy (it will still be soft on the inside so you get a nice combination of textures at the end). Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the black pudding, breaking up the slices (but not too much, you want some chunks in there) as you add the pasta. Add the beaten eggs and 2/3 of the cheese to the pan and stir to ensure the pasta is well coated, adding most of the chopped parsley and salt and pepper with the last few stirs. Top each bowl with the last of the grated cheese and a little more parsley.