Good Food Blog
Healthy pasta: Spaghetti carbonaraPosted at 4:00PM, 23 August 2011 by Hannah Williams - Editor, bbcgoodfood.com
Angela Nilsen conjures up a delicious carbonara recipe with two thirds less fat. Here's how...
A creamy bowl of spaghetti carbonara is one of the nation's favourite pasta dishes but the spoonfuls of butter and ladles of cream often added, mean this is normally seen as a guilty pleasure.
Few people would argue that food tastes better minus the cream but this Italian classic should traditionally be eaten without such calorific embellishments.
Traditionally a dish served to Umbrian coal men (carbonari) the original recipe was always enough to satisfy the heartiest of Italian appetites.
This Italian classic should traditionally be eaten without such calorific embellishments
Charged with delivering a virtuous version of carbonara that could sustain a miner and still taste delicious our healthy makeover wizard, Angela Nilsen, worked her magic and reduced the fat in our classic recipe by two thirds while slashing the calories.
Think that's too good to be true? Well here's how she did it...
- By using lean back bacon with the fat trimmed, Angela reduced a large chunk of the fat.
- She then substituted some of the bacon and cheese with peas to cut even more of the fat but still keep the protein, whilst also adding colour.
- Angela found a healthier route to deep flavour by using garlic and chives in place of salt.
- Using a strong-flavoured mature Parmesan meant she could use less calorie-packed cheese.
- Finally, she reduced the saturated fat by eliminating the non-essential cream. Instead Angela added a ladle of the pasta water to the pan, which helped maintain a creamy sauce.
There's even scope for further fat loss by losing the bacon altogether and replacing with lean roast ham. Either way we're left with a delicious plate of pasta that won't pile on the pounds.