Chorizo Carbonara Recipe

Chorizo Carbonara

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  • 6 thick slices of chorizo, cut on the bias
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 200g dried pasta e.g. linguine
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 100ml cream
  • 50g freshly grated parmesan, plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • salt & pepper
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

How to make Chorizo Carbonara

While all of us surely love our lobster ravioli, truffle oil, shavings of truffles encased in sheets of freshly made pasta, foie terrines, and other fussy dishes, sometimes it's hard to beat a well made, silken, custardy carbonara. The problem is, many restaurants don't seem to be able to put out a halfway decent one! Either the noodles are overcooked, the bacon's too salty, or the eggs have scrambled. Which means that whenever I want this, I tend to make it on my own. So I'm lucky that it's so ridiculously simple to make.

The basic "formula" for this is 100g of dried pasta, 1 egg yolk, 50mils of cream, and 20-30g of parmesan. And while the meat in question is usually thickly sliced bacon lardons, I'm using some chorizo here that I got from a recent trip to Barcelona, which is an intensely smoky, flavourful and fragrant dry cured sausage, to give it a slightly Spanish twist. What I love about chorizo is that the smoked paprika used in seasoning the sausage bleeds red into the oil that's rendered out as you heat it, which in turn imparts a deep orange hue to the sauce. Of course, if you don't have chorizo, bacon will do great (that's the classic way after all), otherwise another twist I love is using meatballs made from sausagemeat (a herby, garlicky one works best for me) which you sauté with the bacon until its fully cooked before adding the noodles in.

I hope you try it and love it as much as I do, 'cos that'll mean you never have to face another sad restaurant-style excuse of a carbonara again. Oh and by the way, do yourself a favour and leave out those frozen peas ;) 

  1. Bring a deep pot of water to the boil, and salt it generously (it should taste like the sea).
  2. Cut the chorizo slices into quarters (alternatively you could just use very thin slices, but I like it this way cos then you have the crispy outside but chewy interior). Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat and gently fry the chorizo to render out some oil and heat it through, giving the pan a couple of good tosses.
  3. Cook the pasta until it's just al dente.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the cream, egg yolks, and parmesan. Season this mix well with pepper, but leave the salting till later - the parmesan and sausages are both salty, so it's best to correct the seasoning at the end.
  5. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add it to the saucepan. Remove the saucepan from the heat, then pour in the egg mix, tossing carefully so each noodle is coated in the sauce. The residual heat from the pan and the noodles will cook the eggs but shouldn't make them curdle. Taste, correct the seasoning if necessary, then serve immediately with extra parmesan on the side and sprinkled with parsley if desired.

(Serves 2)
  • yongfook
    yongfook says

    omg rachel is back!!!11

  • deborah
    deborah says

    yes!! its been a while since we've had some quality recipes :)

  • telliecoin
    telliecoin says

    RACHEL!!! *running jump + smothering hug + drooolly kisses*

  • tamarillo
    tamarillo says

    looks very tasty ...

  • telliecoin
    telliecoin says

    i made this rachel!! but with bacon :) it was good!! and the eggs didn't scramble and it wasn't too oily or anything! THANK YOU!!!

  • telliecoin
    telliecoin says

    i made this rachel!! but with bacon :) it was good!! and the eggs didn't scramble and it wasn't too oily or anything! THANK YOU!!!

  • rachel
    rachel says

    tellie, great to hear it worked out well :) see now i've freed you from the miserable world of crappy restaurant carbonaras!

  • DHJin
    DHJin says

    wow u are really awesome. love your reciepes keep 'em up!!! i like a more meaty carbonara so mix the pasta in the same pan that i fried the sausage and it keeps the smell of the sausage but i minimal oil into the pan to begin with and let it stand for a few minutes to let out some heat or else the egg curdles pretty quick

  • rachel
    rachel says

    thanks DHJin! Sorry if I wasn't clear in my recipe but I actually do the same thing - once the noodles are cooked I add them to pan where I cooked the bacon/chorizo/meat and then add the egg-mix to the noodles OFF the heat as well. Hope this helps.

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