Using leftover egg yolks: Traditional Carbonara

Making macaroons (or meringues or pavlova) means one thing: lots of left over egg yolks.

It is possible to freeze them. There’s a problem with that though – it means that at some point you have to defreeze them. When I’m rooting about in my freezer I often get inspired by some nice fruit or cut of meat that I forgot was there. I can’t imagine coming across a pot of egg yolks and getting excited though.

It’s best to use the yolks up as soon as possible – but then what to do with them? I suppose there’s mayonnaise or lemon curd or crème brulee. Seeing as it was a Thursday night though, I figured that carbonara might be a lot more practical, especially as I happened to have ends of crème fraiche, cream and bacon that needed using up.

Have a go – it’s a real crowd pleaser….when I made it, the boyfriend wolfed it down in about 2 minutes, and declared that “my cooking’s getting better” – quite the compliment!

Ingredients (for 2 people)
3 egg yolks
50 ml double cream
50 ml crème fraiche
Handful of grated parmesan cheese
2 courgettes
4 rashers of nice, crispy bacon
125 g quick cook spagetti
Lots of black pepper
Lots of fresh thyme

Start off by cutting the courgettes into chunks, and the bacon into strips. Toss the courgette in oil and grind lots of pepper over it all. Pop the strips of bacon and courgette into a baking tray, and put it into the oven at 200°c

When lovely smells start emanating from the oven, mix together the crème fraiche and cream (the amounts of these in the ingredient list were just guide lines – juggle the amounts of the cream or crème fraiche as you please as long as it ends up at roughly 100ml.)

Add the egg yolks, parmesan and lots of pepper to the creamy mixture, and put it in the fridge until you need it.

When the courgette has turned darker, and the bacon is nice and crispy, take it out of the oven.

Boil some water, and put the spaghetti in only when it’s bubbling furiously (otherwise it’ll stick together). Cook the spaghetti to the guidelines on the packet.

Finally, drain the spaghetti, and tip it into the baking tray which contains the courgette and bacon. The tray shouldn’t be very hot, but should still be warm. Tip over the creamy sauce, stir and serve immediately. The heat of the spaghetti, courgette and bacon will gently cook the egg sauce. Enjoy!


  1. says

    spaghetti carbonara is one of my favourite things in the whole world – the added courgette looks scrummy.

    I have a request – I love carbonara but my tummy doesn’t. Can I dream of a blog post for dairy-free carbonara? x

  2. Gillian Smith says

    Waddya mean “getting better” harumph.”The boyfriend” needs a talking to!

    I always struggle with leftover egg yolks. Canadians quite like custards but aren’t as keen as our British friends. Somewhere I have a recipe for egg yolk cookies – I’ll dig around and let you know.

    • says

      Custard is indeed part of a British institution. Along the lines of spotted dick and spam. Would LOVE egg yolk cookie recipe though – sounds delicius! x

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