Pic of Pasta carbonara with alfalfa salad

Pasta carbonara with alfalfa salad

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Meat mains

Pasta carbonara with alfalfa salad

Main Serves 2 25 min
This is a classic recipe that was apparently concocted by a group of Italians and Americans during the war. The Americans wanted an Italian twist to their egg and bacon favourites.

Cook's notes

In this recipe we're using spelt spaghetti which many find easier to digest. It also cooks a little quicker than ordinary wheat pasta.


  • 50g salad leaves
  • 125g cherry tomatoes
  • 30g parsley
  • handful alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 rashers smoked bacorn
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g spelt spaghetti
  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • salt and pepper
Image of Pasta carbonara with alfalfa salad


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. While the water heats up, wash the salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, parsley and a good handful of the alfalfa sprouts. Keep them all separate.
  • Step 2

    Prepare the cucumber for the salad. Cut off one third of the cucumber. Wash then dice or slice it up. You can save the rest for other meals. Remove and discard any rind from the rashers of the bacon. Use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to snip or chop the bacon into small pieces.
  • Step 3

    Peel 1 garlic clove and leave it whole. Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add most of the Parmesan cheese, keeping a sprinkling back for a garnish. Add a good grating of pepper. Finely chop the parsley leaves. Pat them dry with kitchen paper (use a clean cloth as well if they are still a little damp). Add them to the bowl.
  • Step 4

    Once the pan of water is boiling, add the spaghetti and cook for 8 minutes. As soon as the spaghetti goes in the pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Add the bacon and garlic clove and fry on a high heat, stirring. Fry for 3-4 minutes, until the bacon has crisped up. Turn off the heat. Remove and discard the garlic clove.
  • Step 5

    Toss the salad leaves, cucumber and alfalfa together to make a salad. Add a little dressing or good olive oil if you have any. Once cooked, drain the pasta, reserving a little of the pasta cooking water.
  • Step 6

    Toss the pasta into the bacon and gently reheat, adding a little of the reserved water (1-2 tablespoon) to make more of a sauce if needed. Transfer the pasta and bacon immediately to the egg and cheese bowl.
  • Step 7

    Toss together. The residual heat cooks the egg through at this point. Check the seasoning. You will probably find you don't need much salt if any as the cheese and bacon are both naturally salty. Serve the pasta sprinkled with the rest of the parmesan cheese, with the salad on the side.

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