BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Bare Cupboard Carbonara

I haven’t been home for the past 3 days so my fridge is somewhat empty. This morning, I woke up famished and annoyed with myself for not at least stopping to pick up some cereal last night. I ended up cobbling together this meat-free version of carbonara with the remnants of last week’s groceries, and found it surprisingly tasty and satisfying—so much so that I would even serve it to guests.

I ate it at 9 AM, accompanied by a cup of black coffee, while standing up in my kitchen. If you, however, decide to make it part of a balanced meal, keep in mind that it’s rich and carb-y, so make sure to serve it with a green salad.

  • ingredients
  • 8 oz. spaghetti or angel hair pasta $1.50 for 16 oz.
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided Pantry
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped Pantry
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs $2 for 12 oz.
  • 1/8 cup half-and-half or heavy cream $1.50 for a pint
  • 1 egg $1.50 for 12
  • salt and pepper to taste Pantry
Total Cost of Ingredients $6.50


Cook pasta according to package directions in salted boiling water. Drain.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Cook the chopped garlic and bread crumbs in the oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and bread crumbs are crisp. Add cooked, drained pasta and toss quickly with the garlic and bread crumbs. Add the remaining tbsp olive oil, the half-and-half or heavy cream and the egg.

Remove from heat and toss thoroughly. Continue tossing pasta to avoid scrambling the egg. Toss well.

Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Serves 2.

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What They're Saying

Carolyne, on Feb 19, 02:56 PM, wrote:

This recipe was delicious! I substituted cheese tortellini for spaghetti. How do you add the egg without scrambling it?

Kelly, on Feb 19, 03:02 PM, wrote:

I’ve often added breadcrumbs to pasta – it’s surprisingly good. This looks delicious!

7eeing7evens, on Feb 20, 09:10 AM, wrote:

Hey, I just made this and OH MY GOODNESS!!!

I literally had just what this recipe called for ( i even had to sub evaporated milk for cream) and it worked beautifully. I have limited cooking experience, so the ease of this recipe was perfect…

I, however, would use more garlic, and cook it longer before adding the breadcrumbs (or panko, as i used). But to each their own tastes.

Also…simply put…I love your blog.

P.S. – I was also really excited to find a cheap recipe that my boyfriend actually likes eating, since, like most boys, he tends to dislike things he doesn’t supervise himself. ;)

Jake Larson, on Feb 24, 04:50 PM, wrote:

Even I was able to make it!! This was delicious, it’d be my new go-to if you didn’t keep coming out with equally great stuff all the time. Thanks again. I’m a loyal follower and aspiring to a healthier and fancier taste. Thanks!

Krista Gundersen, on Feb 26, 02:49 PM, wrote:

Just made this with a twist – I added some shredded rotisserie chicken (I had half a chicken left from a BBQ Chicken pizza I made earlier this week) with the garlic and breadcrumbs and upped the amount of milk to about half a cup (using unsweetened coconut milk instead of cream). Delicious!

Kent, on Mar 12, 09:52 AM, wrote:

some crispy bacon crumbled into it, or smoked sausage diced fine is good too. I chop onions to cook with the garlic. Add some of your favorite cajun seasoning for a nice twist……….. and LOTS of parmesan! I always make extra and use the leftover to make fritattas with the next day…….. ;)

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