Easy Bacon & Mushroom Carbonara Pasta

Carbonara is such a beautiful thing. It's so simple - just spaghetti, pancetta, eggs and cheese. And no cream. Cream doesn't belong in carbonara. It takes only 15 minutes to make from scratch and, if you're quick, most of the preparation can be done while the spaghetti is cooking.

I use smoked bacon in my carbonara instead of pancetta as it's a little less fatty. I like to add some mushrooms. Not traditional but I like the flavour.


Easy Carbonara Pasta

  • Serves:  2
  • Time:  15 minutes from start to finish
  • Cost:  £1.02 per serving
  • Calories:  688 per serving

Ingredients:

  • 200g spaghetti
  • 25g finely grated parmesan cheese (or 30g mature cheddar)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 rashes smoked bacon, fat removed and cut into strips
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 150g mushrooms, diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Extra parmesan to serve (optional)

Method:

  1. Break the spaghetti in half (this makes it easier to mix later on) and cook as instructed on the packet. This should take around 10 minutes.
  2. Mix the eggs and cheese together and set to one side.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan big enough to hold the pasta later on. Fry the bacon for 3-4 minutes until crispy. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and cook for another 1 - 2 minutes until they are golden. Do not overcook the mushrooms as they will become soggy and grey. Keep the heat high.
  4. Drain the cooked spaghetti reserving a little of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti to the bacon and mushrooms, remove from the hob and toss to combine all the ingredients well. 
  5. Add the egg and cheese mixture to the spaghetti stirring quickly as you do. Toss the egg and cheese through the hot spaghetti until everything is very well coated. The egg should start to cook and become a little grainy. If you need to you can add a splash of the cooking water from the pasta to loosen the spaghetti and stop it sticking too much. The carbonara should be piping hot throughout and the egg cooked but not scrambled and dry.
  6. If you want to make sure the egg is really cooked (for pregnant ladies etc) then return the pan to the hob and over a medium heat stir the spaghetti really well for around a half a minute.
  7. Serve immediately topped with freshly ground black pepper and extra parmesan cheese if you like.