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Quick weeknight eats

Anthony Puharich

Anthony Puharich

What are your hot tips for quick weeknight eats?

I'm sure people won't expect a butcher to suggest pasta for a quick weeknight meal, but if I'm pushed for time, it's exactly where I turn. Carbonara is one of my favourites. I make it in the traditional way, using guanciale, the cured jowl of the pig (the name comes from the Italian word guancia, meaning cheek). Traditional guanciale is not smoked, but cured in a salt and herb mix, often including garlic and thyme. It has a richer flavour than pancetta, with a beautiful, soft texture. I finish the dish by cracking a free-range egg over the top and quickly stirring it through the pasta. It's pretty hard to beat. My other go-to dish uses top-quality Italian sausages to make a quick summer ragù. The sausage mince is already seasoned with herbs and spices, so most of the work is done for you. All you have to do is run your knife along the casing of the sausage and remove the meat. It can then be broken up and fried until it's nicely golden. Add a good tomato sugo, a little fresh basil and you have a great, quick weeknight dish for the whole family. The key difference for me is having a couple of quality ingredients from the butcher (aha!) at my disposal.

+ Got a question for our experts? Email us at askgourmet@bauer-media.com.au. For more advice from our Ask the Experts team, see our How-To section.

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