Crumpet Carbonara

One of our absolute favourites, we guarantee that this is the finest carbonara you'll have ever tasted.

The carb'n'carb honestly does work, and is beautifully balanced by lots of fresh vegetables to provide a really healthy meal.*

* I am not a doctor.  

Preparation: 20 minutes Serves: 4 crumpets
Cooking: 40 minutes Cold-buttered crumpets
Ingredients Quantity (metric) Quantity (imperial)
Spaghetti or other pasta 300 g 10.5 oz
Smoked free-range pancetta (cubed) 250 g 9 oz
Garlic cloves (halved) 3 3
Portobello mushrooms (peeled and chopped) 250 g 9 oz
Courgette (cored and chopped) 250 g 9 oz
Asparagus (chopped) 250 g 9 oz
Free range egg yolks 4 4
Parmesan cheese (freshly grated) 100g 3.5 oz
Milk 285 ml 10 floz
Chives (finely chopped) 2 tbsp 2 tbsp
Butter (for cooking) Plenty Plenty
Salt and pepper Plenty Plenty


    The pan

    1. Melt a knob of butter in a very large frying pan. Add the pancetta and cook on a medium-low heat until just getting cooked through and crisp.
    2. Remove the pancetta to a bowl, to be added back to the mix later.
    3. Add a good two more knobs of butter to the pan, add the garlic, and cook on a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
    4. Turn up to a medium heat, add the mushrooms, courgette and asparagus, together with plenty of seasoning, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. It needs to be not raw, but able to stand further cooking.
    5. Take off the heat, remove the garlic, and add the pancetta. 

    The sauce

    1. Using a fork or whisk, and a jug or bowl, mix the egg yolks, milk, parmesan, chives and plenty of fresh black pepper.

    The pasta

    1. Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente, definitely no more.
    2. Drain using a colander, catching the cooking water in the cooking pan.

    The combination

    1. Return the pan to a medium-low heat, then add the pasta, mixing well so that it is coated by the stuff in the pan.
    2. Add the sauce, again mixing really well, so that the sauce is on every inch of the pasta.
    3. Cook for about 5 minutes, adding the reserved pasta water to keep things moist. This is longer than most people would do for a carbonara, and you may cut this short if you like your eggs raw and your dish not to have evolved its fullest flavour.

    The crumpets

    1. No sophistication required here: just spoon on the pasta and eat.


Pasta: this works really well with spaghetti, as it has lots of surface area to pick up the sauce, but also suits macaroni, fusilli and other medium sized pasta. Too small and the dish will lack texture, too large and you’ll struggle to pick up all the sauce.

Pancetta: tends to have a nicer flavour than lardons, and it’s obviously authentic, innit.

Don't forget to use pancetta from happy pigs (and eggs from happy hens) or karma might come to bite you on the arse.


Garlic: leave it in if you want, but please try the more subtle flavour at least once.