Quick carbonara for one

Looking at my dwindling fridge supplies one lazy Sunday afternoon, I came up with a pasta dish the closest to carbonara I could get without using eggs. Here’s a fast and delicious recipe for pasta lovers.


  • 1 mug of dried pasta (penne works well).
  • 1 garlic clove.
  • 1 rasher of unsmoked bacon.
  • 2 tablespoons of crème fraiche.
  • 1 tablespoon of low fat cream cheese.
  • 1 generous handful of finely grated mature cheddar cheese (or any strong hard cheese).
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • A pinch of salt and pepper to season.


  1. Boil half a kettle full of water and at the same time set the hob to a high heat.
  2. Measure out a mug of pasta, add the boiling water so that it covers the pasta, place on the heat and add a little salt.
  3. Whilst the pasta cooks, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and warm over a medium heat.
  4. Finely chop the garlic and slice the bacon into small chunks. Add both to the frying pan.
  5. Stir to prevent the bacon from sticking and, when the bacon is cooked, turn the heat to a low temperature and stir in the crème fraiche and cream cheese.
  6. Add the salt and pepper and a sprinkling of thyme.
  7. Stir in the grated cheese until the mixture is smooth and the cheese has melted. If the sauce is too thick, add a little boiling water.
  8. Take the sauce off the heat before draining the pasta.
  9. When drained, add a little olive oil to the pasta and stir through to stop the pasta from sticking.
  10. Then pour the pasta into the frying pan and combine with the sauce.
  11. Serve with an extra grind of pepper.

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Maddy Hutt