One of my favorite things to do is take a really great fattening recipe and make it a really great skinny recipe. That’s what I did with Rachael’s Ray’s carbonara. (Which she calls,“The Only Recipe You Need.” Bold statement, but I will say even skinny this pasta is guest-worthy.)
I hope you enjoy my “better for you” version!
Skinny Pasta Carbonara
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (1/2 teaspon course sea salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
1 pound* pasta, such as spaghetti or rigatoni (9 ounces or about 1/2 pound whole grain spaghetti -I used Barilla Plus)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (None needed!)
1/4 pound pancetta (Italian bacochopped (1/2 large kielbasa*, diced)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoonto keep it kid-friendly)
5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped (only use 5 diced finely)
1/2 cup dry white wine (divided)
2 large egg yolks (1 egg yolk*)
½ cup grated Romano cheese (1/4 cup grated Parmesan)
Handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (handful of baby spinach, diced)
Here’s What You Do:
Cook the pasta according to the package directions al dente, adding a small amount of salt.
Heat a large high-sided pan over medium high heat. Add the kielbasa and cook until it starts to turn golden (about 2 minutes)
Add the red pepper flakes, half the wine, and the garlic, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more or until the garlic is cooked down and has lost its bitterness.
Add the remaining wine and stir up all the pan drippings.
In a small bowl beat the egg yolk and then add 1 large ladle (about 1/2 cup) of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta.
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the kielbasa.
Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly and continuously to coat the pasta.
Remove pan from heat and add the cheese, salt and pepper, and a big handful of baby spinach, and toss to blend.
Notes: Portion distortion! This original recipe is way too much pasta for 4 servings. Definitely cut it in half like I suggest. (A hearty-healthy pasta serving is ½ cup!) I think next time I will add another egg yolk since it adds minimal fat.
**Do not use turkey or chicken kielbasa here as you do need some fat rendered. I used a smoky Polish sausage kielbasa here.
Definitely keep the red pepper flakes to ½ teaspoon or less. Also, my kids tend to like penne more than spaghetti, so I would probably use that type of pasta in the future, but keep it whole grain. Of course add an extra dash of cheese to the top of your kid’s portion!
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