Is there a way to make spaghetti alla carbonara totally healthy? Not really, but you can definitely lighten it up a bit with healthier ingredients. While many eateries in America add heavy cream to carbonara, traditional carbonara is simply eggs, cheese, bacon and pepper. Such an American thing to add a heavy fat to something that’s already full of it!
To cut down on fat and incorporate a little fiber, I swapped pancetta for chicken sausage and added baby spinach. And while carbonara usually isn’t spicy, I added a pinch of red pepper flakes to speed metabolism, reduce inflammation and aid digestion with a little capsaicin action.
Oh and never fear, salmonella-phobes: the raw egg will cook from the heat of the pasta, but it’s essential to turn the heat off first - otherwise you’ll have spaghetti and scrambled eggs! Also, heads up egg-haters: the dish doesn’t taste or smell like eggs, either; the eggs and cheese make a sauce so silky, you would never know it was egg-based! The BF ate an enormous bowl of it, even though I lied and said I didn’t use eggs before he tried it, then fessed up after he raved. You just have to do that sometimes.
Eat this after an intense workout to burn the most the most carbs and feel rewarded by its deliciousness!
This dish serves three.
1/2 lb spaghetti
2 chicken sausage links, finely chopped
1 1/2 c. baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 c. grated pecorino romano cheese
pinch red pepper
- Whisk eggs, peppers and cheese in a small bowl and set aside. Add spaghetti to salted boiling water. While pasta cooks, add 3 tbsp. olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and garlic and cook until sausage has browned, 5-7 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted and tender, 3-4 minutes. Transfer cooked spaghetti to skillet and toss with spinach and sausage. Pour egg mixture over pasta and remove from heat. Toss to coat spaghetti. Serve hot.