This Healthy Spaghetti Carbonara is what comfort food dreams are made of. A quick and easy 15-minute meal, full of nutritional goodness.
Spaghetti Carbonara is a firm favourite in our house, so on our recent visit to Sicily, we knew we had to experience tasting it the Italian way. And we were not disappointed. There’s nothing quite like a mountain of pasta, smothered in a creamy, silky sauce. You can read all about the REAL FOOD we ate in Sicily here.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN SPAGHETTI CARBONARA?
Luckily, the tried and true Italian way of making Carbonara includes mostly, simple real food ingredients.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Pecorino Romano
- Garlic Cloves
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper and lots of it!
And, only a couple non-real food ingredients:
- Spaghetti (White)
- Guanciale (Pancetta)
HOW DO I MAKE A HEALTHY SPAGHETTI CARBONARA WITH REAL FOOD INGREDIENTS?
- Swap white spaghetti for 100% wholewheat spaghetti
- Use sugar-free and nitrate-free bacon or pancetta
100% wholewheat spaghetti is a good option as it is full of nutrients including fibre, protein, minerals and vitamins. White spaghetti, on the other hand, have these important nutrients stripped out during processing. And, because wholewheat spaghetti can be found in most supermarkets these days, it’s an easy swap to make.
However, bacon that can be considered real food is a little tricky to find here in the UK. I believe that Artisan Finnebrogue Naked Bacon is probably our best option when buying from UK Supermarkets as they produce a nitrate-free, sugar-free option.
Over the last year, Naked Bacon has been popping up in all the big UK Supermarkets and is now relatively easy to find. It’s also worth noting that Finnebrogue supplies M&S Food with an outdoor-bred alternative of their nitrate-free, sugar-free bacon. An even bigger win.
Otherwise, it’s online suppliers, farmers markets and other artisan suppliers that will be your best bet when searching for a real food-based bacon product. It’s always worth checking the label for any nasties before you buy.
And there you have it! A classic Spaghetti Carbonara turned into a healthy REAL FOOD dish!
ADD VEGETABLES TO MAKE YOUR HEALTHY SPAGHETTI CARBONARA EVEN BETTER!
A real food meal is all about balance. And, unfortunately, there’s one major food group missing from a classic spaghetti carbonara – VEGGIES.
So, to solve that problem, I’ve added mushrooms and courgette to this recipe. These two vegetables are perfect additions because their deliciously subtle flavours complement the ‘classic’ ingredients of the dish rather than overpower them. This means you still feel like you’re eating a classic Spaghetti Carbonara.
Mushrooms have lots of fibre, vitamins and minerals, in particular, selenium. Selenium may protect you from cardiovascular disease, cancer and slow cognitive decline as you age. (Source)
Courgette is particularly rich in vitamin A, which supports your immune system. Eating courgette can also contribute to healthy digestion, stable blood sugar levels and improved heart health. (Source)
To all those people cursing at me right now because this Spaghetti Carbonara is technically no longer authentic because of the added vegetables, consider this – let’s not think about this recipe as a dish that goes against tradition and authenticity, but a ‘classic with a healthy twist’. Does that work?
IS HEALTHY SPAGHETTI CARBONARA EASY TO MAKE?
If you’re unfamiliar with how to make Spaghetti Carbonara, it is simple, but there is some technique to achieve that perfectly creamy sauce without ending up with a pile of scrambled eggs on your plate. Which, speaking from experience, is still good, just not Carbonara good! More like, ‘I’m having pasta for breakfast’ good.
Somehow, when you combine hot (but not too hot) spaghetti, eggs, cheese and a little starchy pasta water, you create the most creamy to-die-for sauce.
The most important thing to remember is to keep your pasta moving when you pour over the cheese and egg mixture. If the spaghetti is left to stand in the raw egg, the egg will scramble.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SPAGHETTI CARBONARA WITH EGGS?
Check out the below step-by-step instructions, or scroll down to find the printable recipe card.
STEP-BY-STEP RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS
Boil the kettle, prepare your ingredients and get your equipment ready.
Read through the instructions first to familiarise yourself with the recipe as you’ll need to move quickly to keep on top of the timings.
While the spaghetti is simmering away, grab a bowl and mix 1 whole egg, 2 egg yolks, grated cheese and black pepper. Set aside.
Now, back to the bacon. It should now be nice and crispy, so add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for 2 minutes.
Now, add the rosemary and garlic to the pan and fry for a further 1 minute until fragrant. Don’t let the garlic burn as it will add a bitter taste to the entire dish.
The spaghetti should nearly be at al dente stage. Give it a taste test.
Quickly, remove 3 tablespoons of the starchy pasta water and whisk it into the egg and cheese mixture with a fork. The egg is now tempered, which will help to prevent it from scrambling as it combines with the hot pasta.
The residue heat from the spaghetti will cook the egg, melt the cheese, and produce a velvety sauce.
Pour into serving bowls and top with a generous grind of pepper and serve immediately.
Healthy Spaghetti Carbonara
- Weighing Scales & Measuring Spoon
- Frying Pan
- Medium Saucepan
- Cheese Grater
- Small Bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- Kitchen Tongs
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Rashers Bacon Cut into 1cm strips
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 100 g Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- 60 g Pecorino Romano Finely grated
- 1 tsp Black Pepper Freshly ground (plus extra to garnish)
- 100 g Button Mushrooms Halved
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary Finely chopped
- 1 Garlic Clove Minced
- 100 g Courgette (Zucchini) Julienned or spiralized
- Boil the kettle, prepare your ingredients and get your equipment ready. Read through the instructions first to familiarise yourself with the recipe as you'll need to move quickly to keep on top of the timings.
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the pan and fry for about 4 minutes until it starts to turn crispy. Stir every so often so that both sides cook evenly.
- Meanwhile, pour the boiling kettle water into a saucepan, add the salt and cook the spaghetti until al dente (see packet instructions). This usually takes about 8 minutes.
- While the spaghetti is simmering away, grab a bowl and mix 1 whole egg, 2 egg yolks, grated pecorino cheese and black pepper. Set aside.
- Now, back to the bacon. It should be nice and crispy, so add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for 2 minutes.
- Now, add the rosemary and garlic to the pan and fry for a further 1 minute until fragrant. Don't let the garlic burn as it will add a bitter taste to the entire dish.
- You can now add the courgette (zucchini) to the pan and fry for a further 2 minutes until the courgette has softened slightly but still has a ‘spaghetti-like’ bite. You do not want this to be mushy. Now, remove the frying pan from the heat.
- The spaghetti should nearly be at al dente stage. Give it a taste test. Quickly, remove 3 tablespoons of the starchy pasta water and whisk it into the egg and cheese mixture with a fork. The egg is now tempered, which will help to prevent it from scrambling as it combines with the hot pasta.
- Drain the remaining water from the spaghetti and pour the spaghetti into the pan with the bacon and other ingredients. Working quickly, toss the spaghetti around in the pan to coat it with all the flavours.
- Still working quickly, pour the tempered egg mixture into the frying pan, continuously tossing it through the spaghetti as you pour. This will prevent scrambling.
- The residue heat from the spaghetti will cook the egg, melt the cheese, react with the starchy water you previously added to the egg mixture and produce a velvety sauce. Pour into serving bowls and top with a generous grind of pepper and serve immediately.
I hope you love this Healthy Spaghetti Carbonara as much as I do. It’s so
- QUICK & EASY
- and above all else, A GIANT HUG!
If you give this Healthy Spaghetti Carbonara a try, leave a comment and rate it. I’d love to know what you think!
Thanks so much for stopping by.
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