Let’s cook – an easy and delicious family pasta night carbonara pasta recipe

By the time dinner-time rolls around at my place, I’m looking for something which is super quick, easy to get on the table and something that everybody will eat – and this carbonara pasta always delivers. Now I know you can see mushrooms, don’t panic, I give you a hot tip on how to avoid any whining from the fungus naysayers too, so you can all eat happily ever after!

Pasta has always been a winner with my three kids and a bit of carb loading is great for filling up the bellies of my sports mad teenagers. Originating from Donna Hay’s Mushroom and Thyme Carbonara recipe, this pasta is eaten with gusto. Cute little button and Swiss brown mushrooms aren’t always available in my local supermarket and I can attest that substituting for sliced regular sized button mushrooms works just fine.

Now if you have someone who doesn’t care for mushrooms, you can cook the bacon and mushroom separately in the pan and set a portion of cooked bacon pieces aside for them, keeping them from any risk of their pasta being contaminated by one of those pesky slices of awful brown things. I joke, but sadly my youngest kid doesn’t.

Ingredients

2 tbsps olive oil
200g rindless bacon, chopped (or take a shortcut with a packet of bacon pieces)
200g small button mushrooms, halved
100g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
4 sprigs of thyme, plus one or two extra for serving
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
sea salt and cracked black pepper
500g pappardelle pasta
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup single pouring cream
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for six to eight minutes or until the mushrooms are golden. Be careful – the bacon will stick to the pan surface if you don’t keep it moving.

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  • Cook the pappardelle pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for six to eight minutes or until just al dente. While the pasta is cooking, place the egg yolks, cream and parmesan in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup (125ml) of the cooking water from the saucepan. Return the pasta to the saucepan, off the heat. Add the reserved cooking liquid and the cream mixture and stir to combine (stir quickly, you don’t want scrambled eggs) making sure all ribbons are covered in the creamy sauce. Divide the pasta between bowls, top with the mushroom mixture, pepper, extra parmesan cheese and thyme to serve. Alternatively, serve in one large bowl and let everyone help themselves.

This recipe serves four to five comfortably.

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