sausage and pea carbonara

sausage and pea carbonara

I love all manner of carbonara recipes and was inspired to make this from a memory of a pasta dish I made all the time in my twenties. Mine was a simple recipe of crispy fried bacon, peas, loads of garlic – tossed through cooked pasta, with generous spoonfuls of grated Parmesan. Oh and chopped fresh parsley. It was always a hit amongst my friends.

I recently saw a Jamie Oliver recipe in which he used Italian pork sausages in a carbonara, so after my week in London, I thought a good old British style pork banger would do the trick. I kept the cream, because I think the peas, garlic and cream work really well together, and the egg makes it silky and unctuous.

Carbonara is never that healthy, but I like to use a reduced fat cream which I find equally as nice but contains 52% less fat than whipping cream. Available from Woolworths.

So I’m back after a short and action packed trip to London last week, where I tried to fit as much food and as many friends as I could into my six days. It definitely was not enough time. I spent a night in Berkshire and went to one of Heston Blumenthal’s pubs in Bray for dinner which was a real treat. Then I dashed further North for my last night to see a friend, and stay at an amazing luxury B & B in Armscote Warwickshire. I will be posting more about my trip over the next two weeks as I work through my images.

I’ve hit the ground running now that I’m back with a flood of TV foodstyling jobs coming in, and I cant wait to get back on set next week for my first job of the season. That on top of a few very exciting projects on my horizon, I cant see a holiday anytime soon.

*Cooks notes ~ You can use bacon instead of pork sausages, and I would suggest substituting around 300-350g of streaky bacon. The chilli is optional, but I love the little kick it gives and I prefer to used smoked dried chilli flakes. Add as much or as little as you like. I have used linguini because its my favourite long pasta, but spaghetti would obviously work well.

sausage and pea carbonara

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: serves 4

sausage and pea carbonara


  • 300 - 350g linguini or spaghetti
  • 2T olive oil
  • 6 pork sausages, removed from their casings
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen or fresh peas
  • 100ml cream
  • 1/4 - 1/2t dried smoked chilli flakes or chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 50g grated parmesan plus extra for serving
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and heat the oil in a non stick frying pan.
  2. Roll the sausage meat into small meatballs and fry until golden on all sides.
  3. Add the frozen peas and garlic and cook for a minute. Add the cream, parsley and chilli and cook for a further minute.
  4. Cook the pasta to al dente - making sure you have all other elements for the dish ready before this stage.
  5. Beat the egg yolks and add the Parmesan cheese.
  6. As soon as the pasta is cooked drain, reserving about 60ml of the cooking liquid. Immediately stir the egg yolk and cheese through to coat, and add the sausage and pea sauce. Gently stir everything through, adding some of the cooking liquid to loosen the sauce (if necessary) and serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese.

sausage and pea carbonara

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

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16 Responses to sausage and pea carbonara

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) October 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    Delicious carbonara, a wonderful alternative to the classic!

  2. Making Biltong October 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    I love your photo presentations they look so nice.

    Good luck on your career, I am glad its going good for you.


  3. Lori October 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Beautiful images and a wonderful take on carbonara. LOVE woollies reduced fat cream… a staple.

  4. Sam October 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Thanks hun, the only think it cant do is whip but perfect for sauces.

  5. Sam October 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    Thanks Angie 🙂

  6. usha singh October 18, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Oh Sam–so good to read about all your up coming assignments–good luck

  7. Annie@ciaochowbambina October 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    It’s only breakfast time but your photos have me craving carbonara! Looks delicious!

  8. Sam October 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Thanks Annie – and anyway carbonara is perfect for brekkie 🙂

  9. Laura Curtin October 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    This looks so delicious! I love making carbonara with fresh asparagus when it’s in season.. I will definitely be giving this one a go. Thanks for posting:)

  10. suzanne Perazzini October 21, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    We had Carbonara last night but it was the traditional recipe. But I sure wouldn’t be adverse to trying this. It’s so difficult to photograph pasta well and you always do such a superb job of it.

  11. Sam October 21, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Thanks Suzanne – I find pasta very photogenic actually. I think it almost always looks good 🙂

  12. April October 28, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Carbonara is pretty much one of my all time favourite meals! I love this take on it, and I definitely think I’ll be trying this out soon.

  13. Donna April 30, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    Can I substitute peas for broccoli?

  14. Sam May 1, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    Hi Donna – Im sure you can but the texture and taste would obviously be different. But if you prefer go wild. I think zuchhini would also be nice.


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