Chicken and mushroom carbonara is ready and on the table in half an hour, making it a perfect midweek meal for a hungry family.
Learn how to make this creamy chicken pasta carbonara with our easy video recipe - the kids will love it too and you'll find yourself making it time and time again. A traditional carbonara uses only bacon and eggs, but this version has chicken and mushrooms as well - a great way to add a portion of veg to dinner without anyone really noticing. If you're trying to keep the budget down, you can skip the chicken out completely. The dish will still have plenty of flavour. And if you're watching the calories, you can make the dish a little lighter by using half fat crème fraîche.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, about 90g (3oz), diced
- 250g (8oz) mushrooms, chopped
- 4 chicken thigh fillets, about 350g (12oz) total weight, trimmed of fat and cut into 2.5cm (1in) pieces
- 100ml (3½ fl oz) dry white wine
- 200ml pot of crème fraîche
- 300g (10oz) linguine/spaghetti pasta
- 2 medium egg yolks
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Handful of chopped parsley
- Heat a large frying pan, or wok, add 1tsp of the oil and the bacon and fry until it starts to brown. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for about 5 mins until they are browned. Tip these into a bowl and reheat the pan with the rest of the oil. Add the chicken and fry until just coloured.
- Pour the wine into the pan, let it sizzle for a couple of minutes, and then add the crème fraîche. Bring to a gentle simmer for 8 mins, put the bacon and mushroom mixture back in and reheat for a couple of mins.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions on the pack, until 'al dente', then drain.
- Take the bacon and mushroom mixture off the heat, cool for 1 min and then beat the egg yolks, one at a time, into the sauce to thicken it. Season.
- Add the hot pasta to the pan, or wok, and mix in well with seasoning and chopped parsley. (Not suitable for freezing).
Watch how to make chicken, bacon and mushroom carbonara
Top tip for making chicken, bacon and mushroom carbonara
This recipe can be made with 2 small chicken breasts, or using leftover cooked chicken.
What's the secret to cooking pasta?
Cook the pasta in a large pan filled with plenty of water. If the pan is too small it stops the pasta moving about and leads to uneven cooking, and makes the water too starchy. Add plenty of salt to the water - it should be salty water, not water with a pinch of salt in. Make sure the water is at a 'rolling boil' when you add the pasta, so that it can move about in the water and does not stick together. Stir the pasta during cooking. Don't add oil to the water - it doesn't prevent sticking and stops the sauce adhere to the final dish.
What does 'al dente' mean?
The phrase literally means 'to the tooth'. It means that when you serve pasta, it should still have a little bit of chewiness in the middle, not be soft all the way though. If there is no bite in the pasta, it is considered to be overcooked.
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Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.
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