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  • Writer's pictureCakes By Catriona

Penne Rigate a la Carbonara

Penne Rigate a la Carbonara (For 2 persons - Light and healthy Cat`s version)

200g of Penne Rigate (Refer photo step 6)

Salt and pepper to season

4-5 branches of thyme

A small bouquet of parsley

200ml of light cooking cream (Refer photo step 3)

100ml of milk (semi-skimmed preferably)

1 teaspoon of corn flour

150g of chicken breast

1 tablespoon of sugar

4 cloves of garlic

2 medium size onions

2 tablespoons of Olive oil

2L of water (to cook Penne Rigate)

20g of coarse salt/ gros sel (big flake salt to season Penne Rigate cooking water)

Note: For all pasta products including Penne Rigate, I normally use the "Barilla" brand.

Tip: Always ensure that all your pasta products when cooked are "Al dente" / Al-den-té which means "firm to the bite" or "cuit a point". This is why you should strictly respect the cooking time. All mobile phones are equiped with a timer nowadays ..


Step 1: In your pan on medium-high heat, add your onions (chopped), 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of Olive oil, 2 pinches of salt and 2 pinches or pepper. Once your onions have softened (translucent), add in your chicken breast cut into thin slices with 1 pinch of salt and pepper.

Step 2: Stir regularly until your onions/ chicken mixture starts to caramelize (golden brown color).

Step 3: When your onions/ chicken mixture is ready (golden brown color), add your cooking cream followed by 2 pinches of salt, 2 pinches of pepper and 2 cloves of garlic (grated) !

Step 4: When your cream starts to boil, dissolve your corn flour in your milk and add the latter in your pan.

Tip: Ensure that your corn flour is fully dissolved in the milk prior to adding to the pan to ensure that no lumps will be formed

Step 5: Stir continuously on medium heat until the mixture / Carbonara sauce starts to become thick. When you see it starting to stick to the pan on the perimeter, continue stirring for 1 more minute and then transfer your mixture to another recipient. Set aside.

Step 6: Weight your Penne Rigate !

Step 7: Put 2L of water in a pan, add 20g of coarse salt (gros sel) and 2 cloves of grated garlic and wait for the water to boil*. Only when the water is boiling, transfer your 200g Penne Rigate in your pan. Start your timer as from this moment set to 11 minutes.

*Important Tip: Ratio of Salt: Pasta:Water is 10:100:1000, that is 10 grams of salt for cooking 100 grams of pasta in 1000 milliliters of water (where 1000 ml = 1 liter). Note that here the salt to be used is NOT table salt (fine salt) but coarse salt (gros sel)!

Step 8: When your timer rings (cooking time over), transfer your Penne Rigate to your colander to remove the excess water.

Step 9: From your colander, transfer again your pasta (Penne Rigate) to your Carbonara sauce set aside in step 5 and mix to distribute the sauce evenly .

Step 10: Add your fresh thyme leaves and thinly sliced parsley (reserve some for the final touch ) and mix well.

Step 11: Serve your Penne Rigate a la Carbonara and enjoy ! (You may top up with a small pinch of pepper and/or Parsley and Thyme for that special 'tichef' look ..)

Voila !



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