While spaghetti carbonara is not a daily indulgence if you're trying to lose weight, every once in a while you need something a little comforting. For one of those cool Fall nights when you're in need of a little Italian, this lightened-up recipe is sure to satisfy cravings. Forget dialing the Italian restaurant down the block, and create a healthier spaghetti carbonara in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Keep reading to learn how to make healthier carbonara.
From Cristina Ferrare, Oprah.com
Healthier Spaghetti Carbonara
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces 1/4-inch-thick pancetta, diced into small cubes
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1 cup low-fat milk, chill taken off
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for sprinkling
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh mint leaves
- To prepare the fresh peas, remove the peas from their pods and set aside. For frozen peas, run warm water over to separate; drain and set aside.
- In a cold, large, heavy skillet, pour the olive oil, and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the pancetta, and cook over medium heat until the pancetta is crisp. Remove the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate.
- Add the shallot to the pan, and sauté until crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Three minutes before the pasta is ready, add the peas. Before you drain the pasta and peas, remove 3 cups of the pasta water and set aside.
- Drain the pasta, giving it one or two shakes, but don't shake all the water out. Pour the pasta into the pan with the pancetta and shallot. Over high heat, add 1/2 cup pasta water, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix gently but thoroughly. Add the remainder of the milk and Parmesan cheese, and mix thoroughly. This should thicken the sauce beautifully! If it looks too thick or gooey, add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, to maintain a creamy consistency.
- Top with more grated Parmesan cheese and pepper, and garnish with two or three mint leaves per serving.
Nutritional information (per serving): calories 376, fiber 7.3 g, protein 18.3 g.