Light Pasta Carbonara
“I received coupons for free samples of Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
I am really excited to share this recipe with you… for so so many reasons….
First of all, I almost fell to the ground when I tried my first bite. It was so so good! I’m always apprehensive to lighten-up recipes by either replacing ingredients or reducing the higher calorie/fat ingredients. Luckily, this recipe turned out bomb. That’s all I can say about that.
I thought and planned a great recipe for this contest for a while, and ended up developing 2 great undercooked egg recipes, these eggs are that awesome!
Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs
I wanted to make a recipe that used undercooked or raw eggs since you can’t usually safely do this with regular eggs. But these Davidson’s Safest Choice eggs have been pasteurized in a warm bath, so the harmful salmonella bacteria are killed! You can’t often find that in other store bought whole eggs. (click here to check out their pasteurization process) So if you’re going to make a hollandaise sauce, undercooked eggs to eat, a caesar dressing, cookie dough, ice cream or anything else with undercooked or uncooked eggs, these Davidson’s Safest Choice eggs are your best bet to stay food safe. Even if you’re going to just down a whole dozen Gaston-style, you’re good to go (food safety wise at least)
But I think the best thing about these eggs is that they seriously taste as good if not better than regular, unpasteurized eggs. They also come from cage-free, vegetarian fed hens. The nutritional value of these eggs is no different than traditional non-pasteurized eggs. So really, why buy anything else?
Light Lemony Pasta Carbonara
On to this delicious lemony pasta carbonara: Carbonara is one of my favorite restaurant pastas. It’s creamy, decadent, salty, and oh so good. Problem is that it’s so rich and decadent that I often leave with an upset stomach. Major problem. Good news is I cut down on the cheese, chose proscuitto, and added a few peas. Proscuitto is typically lower in calories, fat, and sodium than bacon. It’s also cut so thinly that it can go farther than bacon. They do taste differently, but I was just going for the saltiness and crunchiness of it, so this swap made no difference to me.
Also, have you added the pasta water back to your pasta? I started doing this way back in high school after reading an article in my mom’s Cooks Illustrated on how to make traditional Italian pastas. One of their major tips was to save about a cup of the water your pasta was cooked in. This changed my life. Literally. All the starch leftover in the pasta water will thicken up your sauce just like cornstarch does, but it’s not so globby. It will thin your pasta out at first, then thicken it up. To get the perfect consistency, slowly add back pasta water about 1 tablespoon at a time and simmer over low heat. This works well with tomato based pasta sauces and “sauce-less” pastas like this carbonara. Try it, you’ll like it!
For more detailed instructions check out the Kitchn’s how-to here.
This lighter version of your favorite pasta dish doesn't skimp on the creaminess of the original, and is still a quick dinner!
- 3 slices prosciutto
- 2 Davidson's Safest Choice pasteurized eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese + extra fro garnish
- 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice + zest from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat up large frying pan, add prosciutto and cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Slice prosciutto into bite sized pieces once cooked
Boil pasta, cook until al-dente. Add peas to pot with ~1 minute remaining in cook time
While pasta and prosciutto are cooking, crack eggs into a small bowl, add grated parmesan cheese and lemon juice to eggs. Set aside.
Drain pasta, but save 1 cup of pasta water to thicken pasta.
Add hot pasta and prosciutto back to frying pan (but make sure heat is off). Drizzle with olive oil, 1/2 of pasta water. Pour egg and cheese mixture over pasta. Toss until well combined
Add remaining pasta water to desired thickness, you may want to turn heating element back on to low for this
Enjoy when hot, top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper.
The prosciutto and cheese are salty enough that you don't even have to add salt to the dish!. This pasta pairs well with a crisp green salad.
Adapted from Ian Fisher from the New York Times Cooking
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