Quick classic carbonara recipe

There are few things in life more delicious than a classic carbonara, and this quick and easy recipe is the perfect solution for days when you’re craving pasta but pressed for time.

Made using simple storecupboard ingredients and penne rather than the more traditional spaghetti, this feast for four will only take around 15 minutes to whip up, and is still full of savoury flavour. Bliss from the first bite!

Classic carbonara recipe


225g unsmoked back bacon (dry cure)

1 tbsp good olive oil

10g unsalted butter

4 tbsp white wine

300g penne

3 medium organic eggs

75g freshly grated parmesan plus extra to serve

3 heaped tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

sea salt and black pepper

  • Slice the bacon into strips or pieces, discarding rind and fat. Heat the oil and butter in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat, add the bacon and stir-fry for 7-10 minutes or until crisping at the edges. Add the wine and cook for a minute more then remove from the heat.
  • At the same time, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions or until just tender.
  • For the sauce, whisk the eggs thoroughly in a large mixing bowl, fold in the parmesan and the parsley and season to taste.
  • Drain the penne well and immediately fold into the sauce mixture. Rewarm the contents of the frying pan if necessary, toss into the pasta and fold through. Check the seasoning and serve straightaway with more parmesan scattered over.

SAVVY SWAP: In season or for added greenery, cook 100g fresh or frozen petit pois for 2-3 minutes (or until tender) with the pasta and fold into the sauce mixture at the same time.

TIP: If you’re cooking this quick classic carbonara for vegetarians, use a vegetarian hard cheese alternative in place of the parmesan and serve up their portion before adding the bacon.

Recipe by Annie Bell