A Simple Carbonara with Mushrooms


A simple idea involving, gasp, a tub of good shop-brought carbonara sauce. Well, if Delia Smith says it’s okay, it’s okay.

Now, let’s get to it, we all have a tub or two of ready made pasta sauce in our fridges, whether we like to admit it or not. Personally I like to have a couple in the fridge or freezer, even a few jars of sauce in the larder, for those times when I just can’t be asked to cook. Do you get like that dear reader?

I don’t see it as cheating to use a ready made sauce as a base for something, in fact I call it ‘doctoring’. Which sounds a bit weird,  doesn’t it?

Here’s how I did it.

Simple Carbonara with Mushrooms – Enough for two

In a large pan of boiling salted water, cook 200g short pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a little butter and olive oil in a pan. Once it’s sizzling, add a handful of sliced mushrooms, and cook until golden brown. At this point, add a little garlic and cook for a minute more. Pour in a small tub or jar of good carbonara sauce, and allow to heat gently.

Once both the pasta and sauce are ready, drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan, and pour in the mushroom sauce. Stir everything together, adding a little of the reserved pasta water if needed. Season with a little pepper, and serve in bowls with a green salad alongside.

Notes: I’m thinking of adding in a handful or two of spinach leaves next time I cook this,  maybe at the last minute, just so it wilts.

Other times, like when I cooked the dish for the photo, I might throw in shredded roast chicken when I add the sauce to the pan.


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