Ham and mushroom carbonara

Ham and mushroom carbonara
The humble ham and mushroom carbonara is a popular dish; cheap to produce and easy to make but one that always makes a good impression.
Linguine makes the dish a bit less messy to eat and a bit more appealing than spaghetti or other alternatives.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4


  • 400 g dried linguine (cooked)
  • 200 g ham (chopped)
  • 200 g button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 125 g parmesan (grated)
  • 2 eggs
  • a large pinch of chives
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add mushrooms, stir gently until cooked and tender. Remove and keep warm.
  • Combine cream, eggs, three quarters of the Parmesan, chives, garlic, and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
  • Place linguine into a saucepan add a pinch of salt bring to the boil then simmer until cooked.
  • In another pan add the egg mixture, mushrooms and ham. Toss over low heat until sauce thickens. Season to taste.
  • Serve with remaining grated Parmesan and chopped chives.
Is carbonara healthy?

Unfortunately, the calorie count of carbonara is quite high, to reduce it you could use crème fraîche instead of cream, and use a reduced-fat cheese instead of cheese.

You could also swap the pasta in the ham and mushroom carbonara for a healthier version, like wholewheat spaghetti.

Is carbonara sauce vegetarian?

The usage of eggs is usually regarded as vegetarian, and this carbonara requires two eggs.

For the ham and mushroom carbonara described you could substitute the ham for extra mushrooms, asparagus, or even a vegan ham product like Quorn.

Is carbonara a cheese sauce?

Carbonara sauce is a cheese sauce, and is very similar to alfredo sauce, except alfredo is usually served with an egg-pasta fettuccini as opposed to the flour-based pasta this recipe uses.

Is carbonara raw egg?

Yes, most commonly the eggs in a carbonara sauce are not raw. The residual heat from the pasta is what heats the egg through, but this is not hot enough to kill all the possible bacteria.

Is carbonara safe to eat?

Pregnant women should not eat carbonara prepared with raw eggs. As always it is best to seek the advice of a medical professional should you have any doubts.

The only additive allowed in real Parmesan is salt which is absorbed by the cheese in the first 20 days of curing.