Claire’s Carbonara


Cost approx 32p per person

OK there may be some debate about this recipe. For a start this is not the way you make traditional carbonara. The reason i know this is because carbonara contains egg whereas this does not. Confused yet? Yes, me too!

I’ve been making this recipe for years. It’s one my kids love, I can knock it up in about 20 minutes and double bonus is it is as cheap as chips!

For years I thought I was making carbonara…I mean, it looked very similar to what I’d seen coming from Italian restaurants. Truth is, ive since watched various cookery programmes and read several recipes in which the result was me questioning the authenticity of my so called carbonara.

Hey ho, we still love the dish and we still know it as carbonara!



Dried spaghetti (10p, Aldi)

1 onion, finely chopped (9p, Aldi)

200g bacon, chopped (22p, Aldi)

2 large cloves of garlic (6p, Aldi)

100g mushrooms, sliced – including stalks (26p, Aldi)

1 tbsp Dijon mustard (4p, Asda)

200g cream cheese (49p, Tesco)

1.5 tsp dried tarragon (1p)


Get a large pan and add salted water. Heat on hob with lid on (this is for your pasta)

Get another large pan or wok (I am such a messy cook that i prefer using a wok so I have more space to stir and it doesn’t end up splashing over the sides and all over my tiles!)

Heat some oil in it. Fry the onion for 2 minutes. Add the bacon and fry for about 3 minutes. Add a splash of water (about 2 tbsps). Stir.

Add the garlic (minced). Stir. Add the mushrooms. Stir and turn the heat down a little.

By now your water in the other pan should be bubbling so pop in your pasta and cook according to instructions on pack.

In your wok add the mustard. Stir in. Add the cheese. Stir so it evenly coats everything. Add some cracked black pepper and the tarragon. Stir. Leave on super low whilst waiting for the pasta.

Once the pasta is cooked (best way to tell is to take one strand out and throw it at your kitchen tiles. If it sticks it is cooked!)

Drain the pasta and add it into the sauce mix. Stir it all together so it is even.


Now dish it up and eat this bad boy!

(Serves 4)



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