Cheats Carbonara

cheats carbonara 1

I love all things Italian, especially food. Crusty breads, warm pizzas and creamy pastas are just a few of many things that I dream about. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with a traditional carbonara, I love this lighter varient that was born when I combined two of my faves (alfredo and carbonara) with some fresh herbs. I think some of the best recipes can be born out of need. In this instance I simply didn’t have enough cream left over for a alfredo sauce and since then I’ve purposefully recreated this recipe a few times as we love the intense flavours and lighter sauce. If the raw egg in a traditional carbonara worries you, then read on to see how I make myself feel better about it.


  • Linguine
  • Salt
  • 2tbs Sunflower oil
  • 200 g Fat-free Bacon, cut into ribbons
  • 100 g Mixed Mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 125 ml Cream
  • 1 small Egg yolk
  • Salt & Pepper to flavour
  • Parmesan for serving

cheats carbonara 2Method:

  1. Bring enough water to the boil for your linguine pasta. Add some salt and a tablespoon of oil to the water before adding your pasta. Linguine is my preference, as it is a happy medium between spaghetti and tagliatelli.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan and fry your bacon until nearly browned. Add the mushrooms and garlic near the end. It might be necessary to add more oil at this point. Stir until everything is browned. Keep an eye on the garlic as it becomes bitter when burned.
  3. Add the rosemary and thyme at this stage.
  4. Combine the cream and one egg yolk in a bowl. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Once the pasta is al dente, drain the water and return it to the warm pot. Add the cream mixture and mushrooms and bacon to the pot. At this point you can return it to your stove top, which should be switched off, for a few seconds and just stir everything together and ensure that everything is heated through. Do not let the sauce boil at any stage as the egg yolk will cook and seperate.
  6. Serve immediately with or without a generous amount of parmesan.

Makes enough for 2 generous potions.

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