Simple Tastes – Quick Carbonara Style Pasta

Does this sound familiar? The other week, I opened the fridge to start preparing our evening meal. I had plenty of ingredients, but couldn’t decide what to make. Spaghetti Bolognese, Fish Pie, Lasagne, Pizza, Steak and salad… all the old favourites, that I’ve made week in week out, and am just fed up making, never mind eating. I need some fresh ideas, and thankfully I’ve found someone to provide them to me – and you.

This is the first in a new series of recipe posts by Asha Fowells, called Simple Tastes. Every week or so, she will supply a new recipe that you might want to try and, if successful, then add to your regular rotation of meals. You can join in the discussion on our FB group, and add a photo of your creation.

The first Simple Tastes recipe is a carbonara style pasta. (Apologies to lovers of authentic Italian food, for the lack of eggs – I know this is a controversial topic!) The sauce is done in about ten minutes so can be prepared while cooking the pasta. Really quick and tasty for a weekday supper.

You will need (for two to four people):


quick carbonara


  • Cook pasta as per instructions on the pack
  • Finely chop your onion or leek and gently fry in a big frying pan. You want it to soften rather than brown.
  • Chop the bacon or open your lardons or pancetta cubes and add to the pan, turning up the heat a little. When they are cooked, chuck in the chopped mushrooms and crushed garlic cloves. Fry for a few minutes, then grind in some pepper, chuck in the herbs and splash in the wine
  • Drain your pasta, but not too well. A little of the cooking water will help the sauce combine.
  • When the wine has cooked off, pour in the cream, let it bubble up and then stir into your cooked pasta.

Lovely served with salad. If you need to eek it out, add some bread for mopping up the sauce.

Any leftovers can be put in the fridge for reheating the next day. If you have used double cream, it will freeze.

You can use courgettes instead of mushrooms, and omit the wine and onion if you prefer. You could toss in some frozen peas near the end. If you are veggie, leave out the bacon in favour of more veg (aubergine would work well) but remember to add salt.

I have successfully made this using gluten free pasta and dairy free cream.

A flattish pasta is better than a round one, so tagliatelle or fusilli rather than macaroni or shells. This is surprisingly unctuous, which can be spoilt a little by any rigidity in the pasta.


Give it a go! It’s so simple and really tasty for kids and adults alike


Editor’s Note

I made this as a veggie pasta this week. I used courgettes and celery, with wholemeal pasta, and it was declared “utterly delicious” by one and all.

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