Tagliatelle Carbonara – Italian classic for under 300 cals!

Tagliatelle carbonara

Without boring you with the details, I’m currently living with my Mum and don’t have the patience (or inclination) to devote much time to prepping fresh food. Thank goodness then for the Hairy Dieters’ Tagliatelle Carbonara, a filling, tasty and calorie friendly twist on an Italian classic which can be on the table inside 20 minutes. My Mum loves it too – bonus!

75g of pasta might not seem much between two people, but trust me, the mushrooms, courgettes and tomatoes really help to bulk the meal out and the addition of the crème fraiche provides that authentic, creamy taste for less than 300 calories per portion!

Recipe: Tagliatelle Carbonara

Calories: 279 per portion

Serves: 2

Book: The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life

Prep time: Approx 10 mins

Cooking time: 10-12 mins


  • 75g dried tagliatelle pasta
  • 2 rashers rindless lean smoked back bacon
  • oil (for spraying)
  • 200g small chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 medium courgette (trimmed and cut into 1.5cm dice)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 4 tbsp half-fat crème fraiche
  • 15g finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cost per portion: Approx* £1.47 (*based on Tesco’s prices, October 2022)

Method: Half fill a large saucepan with cold water and bring it to the boil. Add the pasta, stir well, and return to the boil. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

While the pasta is cooking, trim any visible fat off the bacon and cut the rashers into 2cm wide strips. Mist a medium non-stick frying pan with oil and fry the bacon and mushrooms together for 4 minutes over a medium-high heat until they’re starting to brown, stirring regularly.

Add the courgette and cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute more. Drain the pasta in a colander, then tip it back into the saucepan.

Add the bacon, mushrooms, courgette and tomatoes. Spoon over the crème fraiche and add the cheese and a few twists of ground black pepper. Toss lightly together.


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