Chorizo carbonara

I’ve avoided carbonara all my life.  The idea of bacon, cream and cheese on pasta makes my gall bladder ache with expectant horror.   The cheese is still there, it’s rich, but without the OMG I’m dying of lard intake feeling.  Coupled with a crispy salad it’s perfectly balanced.


320 g dried penne
70 g chorizo
1 fresh red chilli
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 large egg
2 heaped tablespoons sour cream/yoghurt
juice of ½ a lemon
40g parmesan/pecorino (or to taste)

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water.

Finely slice the chorizo, chilli and rosemary leaves and put into the frying pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of pepper, then crush in the garlic and stir everything until lightly golden.

Beat the egg, lemon juice, sour cream/yoghurt and finely grated parmesan/pecorino together in a bowl.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the cooking water.  Toss the pasta with the chorizo pan contents and mix well with the creamy sauce, using with a splash of cooking water, if dry.  Season to taste.

Serve with salad dressed with:

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon runny honey

Toss salad with toasted pine nuts and  torn mint.