University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The best carbonara

I love anything pasta, hence why a lot of my posts are pasta dishes - and when cream, parmesan, bacon and garlic are involved, how could anyone say no? I have two similar posts - fettucine alfredo here and baked spaghetti carbonara here. I didn't use egg in this carbonara recipe, because the cottage cheese has a similar texture of coating the pasta. I wouldn't usually use onion in carbonara (I don't know why, it just seems weird?) but it was perfectly fine; I guess because it's chopped so fine you barely notice of it - it isn't particularly needed but it does add extra flavour. I have also started using fresh garlic cloves (as opposed to ready-ground) and I'm so glad because the flavour and aroma is sooo much nicer, I would definitely recommend! If you don't like mushrooms then don't add them, and likewise with the bacon if you are vegetarian. Such a simple but impressive meal to whip together, and I like to think it's healthier than a standard carbonara, since I used a little bit of single cream and the majority of low fat cottage cheese (which is so high in protein). I served this with tomato and basil bruschetta mmmm,

Serves 2
- 200g spaghetti
- large dollop of butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves,  crushed (less if you aren't a garlic fan)
- 4-5 rashers of smoked bacon, cubed
- 150g mushrooms
- 250g cottage cheese
- 100ml single cream
- handful of parmesan, grated
- ground pepper

1. Soften the onion and garlic in a pan with the melted butter for a few minutes. Add the bacon and fry until cooked through and beginning to crisp.
2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in salted water according to packet instructions (around 10-12 mins)
3. Add the mushrooms to the garlic and onion and cook until softened, then add the cottage cheese. Stir until the cottage cheese has completely melted. It will look watery a this stage, especially with the mushrooms, but don't worry, it will thicken up as you keep cooking!
4. Add the cream and keep stirring until it has reduced and thickened to your liking, add some pepper to taste.
5. Drain the spaghetti, return to the pan, stir through the sauce, and serve.
Enjoy :)


  1. I made this yesterday! It was lovely and yummy. Is there a trick to making the sauce thicker?? x

  2. Yay! Glad you liked it :)
    Sorry for the late reply, it doesn't seem to notify me when I get comments.
    I had trouble thickening the sauce as well, I just reduced it for about 20 minutes over a high heat. I don't mind a runny sauce but if you prefer a thicker coating maybe try adding cornflour to help thicken it? I haven't tried that myself but it could work! xx