Ham and Cheddar Carbonara is easy to make with only four ingredients but tastes off the charts delicious! Just like grown up macaroni and cheese you could serve at your next dinner party.
This recipe is sponsored by Cabot Cheese. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures possible.
I’m going to warn you now. This post is all about how awesome Cabot is! Y’all know I have been singing their praises for years now. We have been eating their cheese well before they were available in this area.
It all started with a drive to Vermont.
I know I’ve told this story before, but since this post is about Cabot, I’m going to tell it again. My sister lived in Vermont. Granted, we didn’t visit as much as we probably should have, but we did make it up there quite a few times. We visited Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory on our first trip. I mean, you could do them more than once, but once you’ve been through the tour once there’s not really a need to do it again.
On every trip there, we made a point to stop at the Cabot store. And, of course, pick up some large blocks of cheese to take home. Because they had the best cheese we have ever tasted in our life. I kid you not. Their Cheddar tastes amazing. Perfectly creamy with hint of sharp that topped so many burgers growing up.
No, of course we didn’t eat all 5 pounds of Cabot cheese when we got home. We froze half of it. Granted you can’t slice it when you freezer it but it does crumble and makes THE BEST macaroni and cheese. It tops casseroles and melts into sauces like a boss! Plus, buying in bulk almost always saves you money.
Growing up, I learned how to shop and eat on a budget.
We rarely if ever bought prepackaged anything. Rice a Roni? I didn’t have it until I was an adult. We made rice pilaf from scratch and it’s so much better. The blue box macaroni and cheese? Nope. Not until college. Our homemade stove top macaroni and cheese is way better than any powdered cheese concoction. Those packaged dinners where you add beef were always homemade, too.
We had International dinners that were made from scratch, too! And some of those are the best memories I have growing up. All of us in the kitchen rolling eggrolls, slicing veggies for stir-fry or stirring a pot of hot and sour soup. Or rolling up some tamales, shredding some chicken for enchiladas, or even making homemade sopapillas.
Those meals made me love food and love to learn how to make international food. Curry dishes, Asian dishes, all kinds of Mexican food, Cajun food, European dishes like cabbage rolls and pierogies. Yes, it’s not as quick as calling for some take-out but the trip getting there is awesome and really brings a family together. And that’s what we need during times like this.
Cabot knows a thing or two about families. They’re a cooperative owned by over 800 families throughout New England and New York. The cooperative part means that 100% of the profits go back to the farmers. They support their farmers whole heartedly. Plus they have the cutest cows! I suggest following them on social media because those cow pictures are the CUTEST!
Their cheese is all natural. It is naturally lactose free, gluten-free, and naturally aged to perfection. You can taste all that natural goodness with that first bite of their cheese. I really can’t explain it. Cabot cheese just… tastes clean! Exactly what you imagine the BEST Cheddar cheese tastes like.
And they don’t stop at just cheese. I’ve used their Greek yogurt, butter, and even whipped topping on my dishes. Their cottage cheese has great flavor and is a perfect snack with some peaches or pineapple. They also make sour cream and whey protein.
Their Vermont Sharp Cheddar cheese is probably my favorite flavor. It has that perfectly sharp flavor for macaroni and cheese, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches. It stands up to anything you pair it with. And it melts like a boss for killer queso and even some delicious fondue.
Cabot Vermont sharp Cheddar is killer in this carbonara.
Now, I used to pour the cheese and egg on top of the pasta and let the heat of the pasta cook the eggs and make the sauce. But then I watched a Good Eats Reloaded or whatever they’re called on pasta. He made a cacio e pepe recipe that started with the cheese and egg combined in a bowl. Then he poured some of the pasta water into the mixture and stirred until the cheese melted, the egg cooked, and the sauce was creamy and delicious.
I have forever changed the way I made carbonara from now on. The trick is to add the pasta water a little bit at a time so it doesn’t make the sauce too runny. If that happens, add a little more cheese or even a little cream to make it creamy again.
And just look at how creamy and delicious ham and cheddar carbonara is! The eggs and cheese melt into this sharp Cheddar sauce that tastes amazing. Like the most grown up macaroni and cheese you’ve ever put in your mouth. But like a kicked up macaroni and cheese because it’s a carbonara and not macaroni.
You’re not only going to love the way it tastes, but you’ll also love that it’s made with such simple ingredients! There’s eggs, cheese, pasta, ham, and peas. That’s it. It’s not a fancy kind of pasta. Use whatever long noodles you have in the pantry. Eggs, those are in almost every kitchen fridge. You can purchase cubed ham or just dice up some up or use whatever meat you have on hand. Don’t like peas? Try some carrots or corn. Roasted red peppers (aka pimentos) are a good option, too.
This recipe is more about the sauce than anything. And it’s more about making what you can with what you have or what you can purchase on your budget. Pasta, cheese, and eggs are so frugal friendly and can come together in so many ways to make a delicious and filling meal for you family. With the additional of a little meat and some veggies and that meal can go a little farther.
- 8 ounces thin spaghetti, uncooked
- 4 large eggs
- 6 ounces shredded Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar cheese
- 3 cups diced ham
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of water to boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions.
- Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl and lightly scramble.
- Add the cheese and stir until the eggs and cheese are combined.
- Place the ham and peas in a colander.
- When the pasta is al dente, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water before draining into the colander with the ham and peas.
- Using a whisk, add the pasta water to the egg and cheese mixture a few tablespoons at a time, whisking constantly until a smooth and creamy sauce forms.
- Add the pasta, ham, and peas to the bowl with the sauce and toss to coat.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with a side salad or some crusty garlic bread.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 522Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 292mgSodium 1444mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 4gSugar 4gProtein 45g