Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara
Serves 6
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  1. 2 eggs , room temperature, whisked
  2. 1 1/2 T. olive oil
  3. 5 whole garlic cloves
  4. 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  5. 12 oz box whole wheat spaghetti
  6. 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  7. freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  9. pinch of nutmeg
  10. 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  11. 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  1. Whisk eggs together in a small bowl and set aside, start a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. In a large, heavy saute pan, slowly cook the olive oil, bacon and garlic cloves until the bacon begins to crisp and the garlic cloves are very soft.
  3. With the back of the spoon mash the garlic cloves and turn off the heat, add the crushed red pepper and let sit.
  4. Add the pasta to the salted water and cook until al dente.
  5. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.
  6. Add the drained pasta to the saucepan with the bacon and garlic and toss gently, turn the heat back on low.
  7. While constantly tossing the pasta, add the whisked eggs and half the reserved pasta water.
  8. Add additional pasta water as needed to create a sauce from the eggs until everything is heated through and the pasta is coated with the sauce.
  9. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cheese plus additional pasta water if needed, toss well and generously garnish with the fresh parsley.
  10. Serve immediately.
***Healthy changes and substitutions
  1. This recipe has no cream as the traditional recipes do, the eggs, cheese and pasta water create a very creamy sauce, eliminating a lot of saturated fat.
  2. Using whole wheat pasta in this dish adds heart healthy fiber as well as additional protein,
  3. Caramelization of the small amount of bacon and olive oil with the garlic adds a depth of flavor with a fraction of the fat usually in this dish.
  4. ***Cooking Tips
  5. It is very important to make sure that the eggs are room temperature and the pan is on a very low heat when you add the eggs or you will end up with scrambled eggs instead of a creamy sauce. Constant tossing when you add the eggs is equally important!
  6. Salting the pasta water is a great way to add a ton of flavor with a minimum of additional sodium.
  7. Freshly grated, good quality parmesan goes a long way to add lots of flavor.
  8. ***Nutritional Facts
  9. Eggs are packed with almost every essential vitamin and mineral needed by the human body with only 1.5 grams of saturated fat and about 70 calories each.
  10. Parsley is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent damage to cells as well as being a excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
  11. Garlic is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help the body fight allergies as well as antibacterial properties that help to prevent colds and infections.
Robin Shea