Carbonara with smoked sausage

WITH THE UK currently in lockdown we are all having to find a way to adapt to a new way of living. Our eating habits are changing drastically. While some of our favourite restaurants are offering the vital lifeline of delivering food, others have closed down completely for the time being.

Not being able to eat out means that more people are trying to be creative with their culinary creations at home, but even that is so much harder than it usually is at the moment because not only can we not pop out to the shops for ingredients like we used to, but many are in short supply.

All kinds of groceries, from toilet roll to flour to long-life, milk have been bought up, in anticipation of everyone staying in their homes.

Our shared situation was on my mind when I wondered what recipe to share with you this month. It didn’t seem fair, or helpful, to share a recipe that required an extensive shopping list, with ingredients that don’t have much of a shelf-life.

In times like these you want simple but delicious meals, with easily accessible ingredients that don’t perish a couple of days after you buy them, that aren’t all that difficult to throw together.

Italian cuisine is well-known for boasting dishes that are easy and inexpensive to prepare. Pasta dishes are great for ticking these boxes, with many requiring only handful of ingredients. One of these dishes is spaghetti carbonara.

As one of the stories behind this dish goes, spaghetti carbonara is said to have originated in 1945 when American troops entered Rome at the end of World War II.

It is said that the troops went to the Roman trattorias (a sort of informal restaurant) and asked for a lunch consisting of ingredients they were be used to, such as eggs, bacon and noodles.

The story says Roman chefs were at a loss as to what to make the American troops, so they invented something new using the ingredients, mixing everything together to create the carbonara we know and love today.

Carbonara sauce is very simply made, combining eggs, cheese and bacon. Including the spaghetti, this means you can make yourself spaghetti carbonara using just four ingredients. Throw in a little garlic and black pepper and that’s still only six ingredients.

For a version of spaghetti carbonara that is climate, budget and storage friendly, this recipe uses smoked sausage instead of bacon.

Most supermarkets sell smoked sausage precooked, which makes it quick and easy to use in this dish, and they keep in the fridge for a good amount of time, which means you can buy everything you need to prepare at a later date.

You can even throw this recipe together without the meat, meaning you can make a delicious dinner using just pasta, eggs and cheese.

Try knocking together this quick and easy pasta to brighten up isolation by giving yourself a taste of Italy. Share this recipe with your family - it’s an easy one to try and teach the kids, with careful supervision, of course. See what you can throw together, enjoy, and stay safe.

Ingredients 160g smoked sausage

100g Parmesan cheese

3 large eggs

350g spaghetti

1 garlic clove

Salt and black pepper


1. Place a large saucepan of water on the hob. Add a little salt and bring to the boil.

2. Finely grate the Parmesan cheese into a bowl and set to one side. In a different bowl, crack your eggs and beat well. Season with black pepper. Set all of these ingredients to one side.

3. Once the water is boiling add the spaghetti to the pan. Return the water to the boil and cook in accordance with the instructions on the packet you are using. Cook for the full amount of time if you like your pasta soft, or less time if you prefer your pasta al dente.

4. To chop your clove of garlic, peel away the skin, crush with the flat side of a knife and then chop the garlic horizontally and then vertically until it is in small pieces. Add the garlic to a pan along with the chopped smoked sausage and fry together in a little butter. Cook over a medium heat until the smoked sausage is cooked. Reduce to a low heat.

5. Once your spaghetti is cooked drain the water (but save some of the water to use later) and add the spaghetti to the frying pan with the smoked sausage.

6. Mix the cheese in with the beaten eggs, saving a little cheese to garnish the pasta when it is ready.

7. Remove the pan of spaghetti and smoked sausage from the heat and add the egg mixture. Using tongs or a fork, lift the spaghetti until it is evenly covered. The mixture should thicken, but not scramble – the key to great, authentic carbonara is to ensure your eggs do not scramble.

8. To make a runnier sauce, add a tablespoon of the spaghetti water to the pan and mix. Finish with salt and black pepper to taste, add a sprinkling of cheese and serve immediately.