Jamie Oliver’s Easy Sausage Carbonara is my latest 5-ingredient, 30 minute meal obsession and gives spaghetti and meatballs a whole new meaning. Yes it’s simple enough to memorize, but don’t worry, make this quick and comforting pasta dinner once and your family will never let you forget it!
This sausage pasta carbonara comes together in under 30 minutes, and it’s so satisfying.
I’ve started re-watching vintage Jamie Oliver on YouTube and I’m loving it. I’ve always been inspired by his simple rustic cooking and apparently I still am. This easy sausage carbonara is from the series where everything is made from 5 ingredients. I’ve made this twice already and it’s a winner.
Mini sausage meatballs are brilliant!
It was these little sausage meatballs that caught my attention ~ you can use loose sausage meat, or remove it from the casings, but sausage meat gives you instant flavor, without having to fuss with mixing traditional meatballs. You form little balls of sausage and roll them in crushed pepper to coat before frying ~ it’s genius. The pepper is potent but not overpowering, and it gives this simple pasta recipe real character. In fact this dish has given me a renewed respect for ‘plain old’ black pepper, it’s quite complex and wonderful.
The Italians have so much to teach us about pasta
Simplicity is one of them. You don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients to make a great meal.
Interesting pasta shapes is another. The one I used here is Trottole, from Southern Italy. Trottole means ‘spins’ in Italian, and it has a great sensual curl that captures the sauce.
Think outside the (pasta) box and try a new shape, imported Italian pastas come in so many different forms, and they really make a pasta dinner so much more special. If your regular supermarket doesn’t stock them try a gourmet store or Cost Plus World Market.
More comfy pasta recipes ~
- How To Make Macaroni and Cheese Without a Recipe
- Cacio e Pepe Macaroni and Cheese
- Pasta with Radicchio, Bacon, and Walnuts
- Easy Pasta Bolognese Recipe
Tips for making easy sausage carbonara ~
- Make and cook the meatballs first. While they’re cooking, get the pasta water started.
- Add the cooked pasta to the meatballs in the skillet, and bring along a little of the starchy water with it. A pasta pot with drainer insert works perfectly for a dish like this because you can lift the drainer and add the pasta straight into the pan, bringing along the perfect amount of water with it. The starchy water helps to create the sauce.
- Have your beaten egg, cheese, and parsley mixture prepped and ready to go.
- Add a little of the pasta water to the egg and cheese mixture first, then add it to the skillet, off the heat. Mix, and mix, and mix some more. You want all the pasta to be coated ~ the heat of the pasta and the pan will cook the egg just enough so you’ll get a silky sauce and not scrambled eggs.
Reader Rave ~
“Have made this twice this week and my husband LOVES it – even brought it to work to share with his co-worker who loves it as well! He asked me if it was from TVFGI – he knows where I get all the good recipes:)” ~ Jennie
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Jamie Oliver’s Easy Sausage Carbonara
- 2 large eggs
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage meat
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pound pasta, any shape you love
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk the eggs together in a bowl and mix in the parsley and cheese. Set aside.
- Pinch or scoop tablespoon sized amounts of sausage meat and form into balls. Sprinkle the peppers on a plate and give them a mix. Roll each sausage ball in the pepper to lightly coat. Add more pepper if necessary.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet and when the oil is shimmering hot but not smoking, add the meatballs. I like to shake and swirl the pan until the meatballs have gotten some color all over, this helps to maintain their round shape and allow them to brown all over. Saute for several minutes, keeping the meatballs moving, until the sausage is golden brown and cooked through. They should read 160F on an instant read thermometer. Keep warm.
- Meanwhile cook your pasta in lots of salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water, and add the dripping wet pasta to the meatballs in the pan, the extra water clinging to the pasta is going to help create the sauce.
- Working off the heat, add the egg mixture, tossing continuously as the heat of the pasta 'cooks' the eggs into a silky sauce. Add more hot pasta water if needed.
- Serve right away with extra cheese and parsley.
notes and variations
- Make it with fettuccine ~ use any pasta that is good at grabbing sauce, flat sided fettuccine and linguine work well.
- Make it gluten free ~ there are lots of great gluten free pastas out there!
- Make it spicy ~ use hot Italian sausage, or add red pepper flakes.
- Make it meatless ~ use vegetarian meatballs, either homemade or store bought.
- Make it for breakfast ~ use country sausage and have it in the am, why not?
- Make it ahead ~ You can make the meatballs up to a day ahead, but cook them just before serving because you want all the drippings from the pan to flavor the sauce.
- Make more! You can double the recipe, but I'd only use 3 eggs.