Tried&Tested: Jamie Olivers’ Chorizo Carbonara

Like a lot of the general public, being a GP, I sometimes get home pretty late of an evening and the last thing I often feel like doing is cooking. I was quite sceptical the first time I heard about Jamie Olivers’ new book ’30 Minute Meals’ and then ’15 Minute Meals’, until one day I spent a lazy Sunday at a friends and it seemed they were running a bit of a TV marathon of the programmes that accompanied the series of 30 Minute Meals. We ended up watching about 4 in a row, and I must say I was quite impressed. They looked pretty simple, tasty and healthy the majority of the time. This, alongside my friend who already had the 30min book and highly recommended it, convinced me to to go out and buy the book, and it has been a resounding success. Provided you do a bit of preparation before hand and make sure you have a few key pieces of kit (a speed peeler, garlic crusher and mini blender seeming the most important) it actually is pretty easy to do the recipes in the time specified.


I’ve probably cooked about half the recipes in each of the books now, and this recipe is my absolute favourite from the 15 Minute Meals book. Its so quick and easy and tastes great. Its also easy to slightly alter the recipe, add bits or take away bits ( I like adding a few bits of red pepper or shallots to mine) and also crank up the heat with the chillies if you like that sort of thing. I have also tried replacing the manchego cheese with parmesan and this also seems to work great!

In the book Jamie serves the pasta with a Catalan Market Salad (containing chicory, pine nuts, clementine slices and manchego cheese.) I have tried making this once, and although its nice, I must admit that I usually just serve it up with a green salad of anything that’s in the fridge at the time, or just on its own. I particularly like the fact Jamie uses yoghurt for the sauce rather than cream – a much healthier alternative, works great and makes the pasta so much lighter. My pics of tonights version contain those extra ingredients of shallot and red pepper.

Serves 4

  • 320 g dried penne ( or whatever pasta you like/is in the cupboard)
  • 70 g  chorizo
  • ½–1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 heaped tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 30 g finely grated manchego cheese
  • salt and pepper to season


1. Boil a kettle and fill saucepan with boiling water – add pasta and pinch of salt, cover and cook according to instructions.

2. 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.

3. Squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher and move everything around until lightly golden.


4. Beat the egg, lemon juice, yoghurt and grated Manchego together in a bowl.

5. Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the starchy cooking water

6. Toss the pasta into the chorizo pan, remove from the heat and mix well with the creamy sauce, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed, and season to taste.

🙂 Happy eating!


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2 thoughts on “Tried&Tested: Jamie Olivers’ Chorizo Carbonara

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