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Paul Ainsworth’s Cornish Carbonara

Add a playful twist to your carbonara with this recipe from Paul Ainsworth.


• 200g fresh egg tagliatelle or dried pasta
• 2tbsp olive oil
• 150g smoked streaky bacon, diced small
• 250g Old Cornish sausage meat
• 20g garlic puree
• 200g good quality white chicken stock
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 sprig of thyme
• Cornish sea salt and black pepper
• 4 rich egg yolks
• 10g flat leaf parsley
• 80g parmesan for grating


• Large pasta pan
• Chopping board
• Knife for chopping
• Fine zestor/grater
• Small saucepan or shallow frying pan
• Large frying pan or shallow saucepan
• Colander
• Wooden spoon or spatula
• Set of tongs
• Small bowl
• 2 serving bowls


Step 1

Start by rolling the sausage meat into 20g balls and place into a saucepan or frying pan and add the chicken stock, picked thyme and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Poach the balls lightly for 5 minutes, turning halfway through. This will set the shape and start the cooking process.

Step 3

In a large shallow pan heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the smoked bacon. Leave to slightly stick on the pan creating a lovely caramelization on the bacon, retaining any excess fat in a bowl to add later.

Step 4

Now add the sausage balls, retaining the stock for later in the recipe.

Step 5

Once you have achieved colour on the sausages and bacon add the garlic puree to the pan and stir in well. Then add the retained stock and reduce lightly to create a sauce like consistency.

Step 6

In a pan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente – this should take 2-3 minutes for fresh pasta or 10-12 minutes for dried pasta. Always check a small piece every minute to make sure you are happy with the cooking.

Step 7

Once the pasta is cooked, drain off the water and add straight into the pasta sauce and mix all together.

Step 8

Mix your egg yolks and 50g parmesan cheese together in a bowl, along with some retained bacon fat for flavour.

Step 9

Take the pan off the heat and add the egg yolk and cheese mix. Fold through the pasta until the sauce glazes and sticks to the pasta. Ensure the sauce and pasta are both very hot when you add the egg. Finish with lemon zest, juice and black pepper.

Step 10

Dress the dish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley, grated parmesan a drizzle of olive oil.