This post was last revisited, repriced and updated in April 2018
Inspired by the Great British Budget Menu, I thought I would have a look at the Carbonara sauce recipe I use and see how much it costs. One of my favourite recipe books, and I have a few! is the Italian equivalent of Mrs Beeton, The Silver Spoon (recipe here, book here) and it is the Carbonara sauce recipe from there that I use.
Priced at Asda April 2018
- 50g cooking bacon, chopped into small cubes 57p/500g – 6p
- 175g spaghetti, 23p/500g, 8p
- 1 egg, box of 15, mixed weight, £2, 14p
- 20g parmesan, 170g/£2.38, 28p
- 20g pecorino, £2.30/150g, 31p
- half tsp garlic from a jar, or a clove well chopped, 3p
- Total cost £0.90, 45p a portion
the pecorino is the defining taste of a carbonara, so if you can’t afford both cheeses, try and use the pecorino and add a splash of milk to replace the grana
- Boil the pasta in generous amounts of salted water.
- Meanwhile, fry the bacon and garlic slowly in a pan
- Once the pasta is cooked, not too soft, drain and tip it into the bacon pan, add half the cheeses and stir well.
- The pasta will now be off the boil, add the beaten egg and stir well again. If you try and add the egg when the pasta is still very hot, the egg will scramble – nasty
- Season with black pepper and tip into a serving dish or onto plates
- Top with the remaining half of the cheeses and serve immediately
This amount will serve 2
If you have any, a crisp green salad is lovely with this – maybe some leaves from the garden if you are lucky enough to have one
per serving, carbonara without salad, 507 cals, 29g protein, 17g fat, 60g carbAbsolutely delicious! Spaghetti carbonara this authentic is wonderful. It’s much easier to make than many people think, using just basic ingredients and a couple of pans.Click To Tweet
Absolutely delicious! Spaghetti carbonara this authentic is wonderful. It’s much easier to make than many people think, using just basic ingredients and a couple of pans.
I wouldn’t twiddle with this one at all. If you really must, try adding some well fried mushrooms or onions: chopped and steamed kale or dark cabbage: perhaps some peas, or a couple of big handfuls of frozen mixed veg that have been cooked.
The only ingredient that isn’t Free on SW is the cheese. You are allowed 30g of full fat cheese per day as your healthy extra A (HEXA). There are 20g per person in this, two thirds of your allowance, leaving some maybe for milk in tea and coffee
If you prefer to use Syns for the cheese, it would be 4 Syns per portion of carbonara
Serve with a nice big salad on at least a third of your plate. Cheap salad options include iceberg lettuce, cucumber, radish, sliced raw courgette, ribboned or spiralised carrot and beetroot. If you must have a dressing on it, vinaigrette is 1 Syn a teaspoon
With a huge salad, you might find you need less than the portion size here, making it even cheaper. Any leftovers are lovely for lunch the next day
Diet, what diet?
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I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community