One thing Arkansas City lacks is an Italian restaurant. (They don’t seem to last long here, for whatever reason.)

Courtesy photo

For some, that might not be an issue, but for my husband, it long has been a source of frustration.

He could eat pasta for every meal if I let him.

Thankfully, there are a lot of great sauces and pastas on the shelves of our local grocery stores.

It is relatively easy to take those ingredients and create a great meal that will accommodate a dinner party, or have enough food to have leftovers the next day.

This chicken carbonara recipe is one I frequently pull out during winter, but it is great for any time of the year.

Chicken carbonara ingredients

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 10 ounces fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 box of bow-tie pasta
  • 1/2 pound unsalted sweet butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground pepper


Start by butterflying the chicken breasts, then seasoning them with salt and pepper. Fry the chicken in a small amount of olive oil.

While the chicken is cooking, start cooking the bacon. Once it is cooked, set it aside on a paper towel to absorb any remaining grease.

Put on a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Make sure to salt it lightly.

While waiting for the water to come to a boil, slice the mushrooms, grate the Parmesan, and chop both the bacon and chicken into quarter-inch pieces.

After you start boiling the pasta, cook the mushrooms on medium heat, using 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Be sure to keep the mushrooms from touching each other — they cook much better when they have room to breathe.

When the mushrooms are done, take the pan off the heat and let it sit. In a separate pan, melt half a pound of butter.

Add cream to the melted butter and stir them frequently to ensure the cream does not scald.

While managing the multiple pans, do not forget to stir each from time to time.

When the cream has come to temperature, add the shredded Parmesan and stir until it all has melted. Pepper the sauce to taste.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the cooked mushrooms, chicken and bacon. Stir in the sauce and serve while hot.