Easy recipes for caravanners: Green Pea Carbonara

By: Lynn Bain, Photography by: Lynn Bain

Peas are a healthy and versatile staple which can be used in a variety of ways.

Easy Recipes For Caravanners Green Pea Carbonara

Frozen peas are one of the staples in my freezer when I’m travelling. They can be used in so many ways such as soups, sauces, side dishes and pastas, as well as being a handy ice pack for sore joints or a headache.

Green Pea Carbonara

Carbonara sauce has a lighter, sweeter taste when you use peas in the sauce. The sauce will also have the most wonderful green colour.

You will need either a hand-held food processor, small food processor or a blender to ensure a smooth sauce for your pasta. Or, if you don’t mind a more rustic texture and don’t have room in the van for the above appliances, then a good bashing with a pestle will suffice.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

The following quantities will serve four people.


  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup cream (long life is fine)
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 100g bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 375g uncooked pasta of your choice


In a blender or food processor, blend the peas, egg, egg yolks, cheese and cream until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a frypan over a medium heat, sauté the bacon until it is browned. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towel. Add the finely chopped onion to the pan and cook until the onion has softened. Then return the bacon to the pan to keep cooking over a low heat.

While the bacon and onion are cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet. When cooked, drain the pasta, reserving half a cup of the cooking water.

Add the cooked pasta to the warm frypan with the bacon and onion. Toss well to combine and heat through for a couple of minutes. Remove the frypan from the heat and then stir in the pea mixture. Stir the pea mixture together with the pasta, bacon and onions quickly and vigorously to prevent the eggs in the mixture from scrambling. If the sauce is too thick, stir in a little of the reserved pasta water until the sauce consistency is to your liking.

Transfer the pasta to serving bowls and sprinkle over the topping of your choice.

Pea Pesto 

Easy Recipes For Caravanners Green Pea Carbonara 3

Preparation time: Five minutes

Cooking time: Nil

The following quantities will serve four.


  • 250g frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
  • freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


Using either a food processor or pestle, puree or pound together the peas, garlic, parmesan and salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil to the pea mixture until all of the oil has been absorbed by the pea mixture.

Spoon the pesto into a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Mushy Peas

Easy Recipes For Caravanners Green Pea Carbonara 2

I absolutely love mushy peas (pronounced mooshy) and have done so ever since I first tasted them on a pie from a pie cart when I was small. These days, I make my own mushy peas from frozen peas and use them in lots of different ways.

Preparation time: Five minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

The following quantity will serve four.


  • 500g frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint (optional)


In a saucepan over a medium heat, place the peas, one tablespoon of the butter and the water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the peas are soft. This will take about 10-15 minutes. When the peas are cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat. Mash the peas with a pestle until a good mushy pea consistency has been reached.

Now add the rest of the butter and the lemon juice to the mushy peas and stir.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and then stir through the finely chopped mint.

The full test appears in Caravan World #555 September 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!