Are you ready to try one of Chef Alex Seidel’s signature dishes served at Denver’s award-winning restaurant Fruition? In the comfort of your kitchen, create your own version of Pasta Carbonara with Cured Pork Belly and Handmade Cavatelli. When Fruition opened this entree was on the menu. It is an iconic dish that has lasted for more than 13 years.
Main Ingredients for Alex Seidel’s Pasta Carbonara
- 2 Lb Fresh Pork Belly
- 4 Each Eggs (freshest Possible)
- 1 qt Chicken Stock
- 10 oz Parmesan Rinds
- 1 Tbls Butter
- ¼ Cup English Peas (Fresh or Frozen)
- 1 Clamshell Pea Shoots
- ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan
Ingredients for Alex Seidel’s Pasta Cavatelli
- 2 ¼ Cup AP Flour
- 1 Each Egg
- 7.5 oz Ricotta
- 1/8-Cup Milk
- 1 oz Chopped Parsley
- 1 tsp salt
Ingredients for Alex Seidel’s Belly Cure
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Rib Celery
- ½ Yellow Onion
- ½ Cup Sugar
- ½ Cup Salt
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 10 Sprigs Parsley
- 10 Sprigs Thyme
- 5 Sprigs Oregano
- 10 Chives
- 1 Two foot long piece of cheese cloth
Ingredients for Alex Seidels Belly Braise
- 1 qt Chicken Stock
- 1 qt Milk
- 1 Carrot
- ½ Onion
- 1 Rib Celery
- 1 Sachet (thyme, bay leaf, peppercorn, coriander, parsley stem)
Preparation Steps for Alex Seidel’s Pasta Carbonara with Cured Pork Belly and Handmade Cavatelli
Preparing the Pork Belly
- Pull belly from packaging and rinse well, dry on napkins.
- Place coriander and fennel seed in small sauté pan and toast on medium heat until you can smell the aromatics set aside.
- In a spice grinder add coriander, mustard seed and fennel seed and pulse 4 or five times until lightly cracked. Place into mixing bowl with sugar and salt.
- Thinly slice carrot, onion and celery place in another mixing bowl.
- Slice thyme, chive, parsley and oregano in half and add to vegetable mix.
- Place the cheesecloth into a meat-roasting pan with rack, and spread ½ of the vegetable and herb mixture down.
- In a mixing bowl generously coat the dried pork belly with salt sugar and spice mixture so all surfaces are coated well.
- Lay a generous handful of salt mix over the vegetable mix in the roasting pan, and place pork belly on top of herb mixture fat side down.
- Place the rest of the salt and sugar mix over the top of the belly and spread the other half of the herb vegetable mix, fold the cheese cloth over and place in the refrigerator uncovered for 12 hours to cure.
Preparing the Cavatelli
- In food processor with plastic blade add the ricotta, milk, salt and the egg. Puree until mixture is smooth.
- Add flour in four ½ cup increments pureeing each time until smooth.
- Add the last ¼ cup with the parsley so as not to make the dough green.
- When the mixture comes together pull out and hand knead. Rest for one hour
- Once dough has rested, roll the dough on the thickest setting on a pasta roller.
- Slice dough into long ½ in wide strips.
- Run the strips through cavatelli roller.
- Place finished pasta on cookie sheet with semolina flour and freeze. Cover or bag after pasta is frozen
Preparing the Parmesan Broth
- In saucepot bring chicken stock and Parmesan rinds up to a simmer.
- Steep stock for one hour and strain. Hold
Cooking the Pork belly
- After the belly is cured pull every thing off and rinse well dry with napkins
- In a deep half hotel pan heat stock and milk with mirepoix, pork belly and sachet.
- When the braise reaches a scald pull off heat and wrap with plastic and aluminum foil
- Braise at 300 degrees F for 3 ½ to 4 hours
- After braise is finished pull the belly out of the liquid and press into a smaller square pan cool completely
- After meat is cooled remove and cut 2oz portions
Cooking the Egg
- Line the bottom of a small 3 oz timbale with one 8in by 8in square of plastic film creating a small pouch. Spray with pan spray
- Crack 1 egg into the pouch and pull the four corners of the plastic up and together over the egg. Slowly twist and make the bag tight.
- Tie the top of the egg with butcher’s twine
- Cook the egg in simmering water for 5 min when you are ready to serve, rest for 1 minute cut the plastic away and serve
Final Steps for Alex Seidel’s Pasta Carbonara with Cured Pork Belly and Handmade Cavatelli
- Preheat small sauté pan.
- Boil water in a small saucepot.
- Cook egg in simmering water 5 min
- In small sauté pan add parmesan broth and bring to a simmer
- Sear the pork belly portions until golden brown on one side in the preheated sauté pan.
- Cook cavatelli in boiling water until it floats, strain and add to Parmesan broth. Add peas and butter then season with salt and white pepper.
- In a small mixing bowl dress pea shoots with a squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil, salt and white pepper.
- To plate spoon pasta and broth into the base of bowls
- Place pork belly seared side up on top of the pasta centered
- Place the cleaned egg on top of the belly
- Top with the pea shoot salad
- Finish with grated Parmesan and truffle oil.
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When Sandy isn’t trekking or writing in the Colorado, she is traveling. She has visited more than 40 countries and lived as an international teacher in Bangalore, India. Sandy’s award-winning book, May This Be the Best Year of Your Life, is a resource for people contemplating an expat lifestyle and living outside their comfort zone.
Sandy’s lifestyle and travel experiences are frequently shared with international and domestic online sites and print media. She has contributed stories to Hemispheres, Destinations Magazine, KUHL’s Born in the Mountain blog, Grand Magazine, Wandering Educators, Golden Living, AARP, Hadassah magazine, Localliz, One Travel, Miles Away, Canadian Jewish News, Getting On Travel, Far and Wide, Colorado Parent, Traveler Confidential, Family Circle- Momster, and others.