Not all goes to plan… and a Budget Recipe: Mushroom Carbonara

As we all know, the best plans can go awry.

One such thing was the third recipe in this weeks budget menu: Coley Korma. It was not a success. I can’t blame anyone else for this – I made it to my very own recipe.

It wasn’t the price that was the issue. In a week of £5 meals it was well within budget.

All the ingredients individually were perfectly fine, but somehow the combined result lost something. You know how sometimes perfectly ordinary ingredients will come together into something wonderful – as Aristotle said with his famous quote about ‘the whole being greater than the sum of its parts’. Unfortunately, that definitely wasn’t my Coley Korma – quite the reverse. Ahh well.

And the family rating? One (reluctant) star (). I think that was for effort, or for turning up in the kitchen.
So, no recipe for day 3.

Day 4 was better though.
Call (almost) anything ‘Carbonara’ and my family will love it, but actually this Mushroom Carbonara was good! Another keeper – it’s quick, cheap and got 4 stars.

This was the way I made it:

Mushroom Carbonara

(Serves 4)
Cost: ~£3.77
Time Taken: Easily less than 30 minutes
Family rating: ★★★★


  • 400g mushrooms, sliced (I used closed cup mushrooms, but you could use a variety)
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic depending on how much you like the stuff and who you’re planning on seeing tomorrow
  • 3 eggs
  • 80g grated Grana Padano or parmesan
  • 400g spaghetti
  1. Put a large pan of water onto boil
  2. Wash or peel the mushrooms, halve and slice evenly. Peel and dice the onion.
  3. Put the butter and oil into a large frying pan and melt over a medium heat. Cook the onions and mushrooms with the garlic in the fat, stirring occasionally, until they are cooked.
  4. When the water is boiling add a little salt, a splash of oil and the pasta, and simmer until cooked to your liking.
  5. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork. Add about ¾ of the cheese and beat together.
  6. Drain the pasta when cooked, reserving about a cupful of the cooking liquid. Put the pasta back into the pan and add a couple of tablespoons of cooking liquid back to it and stir.
  7. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the cooking water to the mushroom pan and then add the eggs and cheese and stir together. Add the pasta and stir for a few minutes till all evenly coated.
  8. Serve with extra grated cheese and salad
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