A big bowl of pasta mixed with yummy bacon, egg and cheese is what Spaghetti alla Carbonara is all about! A dish of comfort all the way! Creamy without adding cream, hearty without being too heavy, and quickly made in under 30 minutes for any night of the week.
What's not to love about this dish? Oh right...... the calories and fat typically. But when made at home you can have this bowl of comfort without ruining your weight loss plans.
I've eaten this throughout my childhood at least once a week. It's a super easy meal to prepare with ingredients usually on hand in most homes. Of course I didn't eat turkey bacon as a child, it was regular bacon, but that's just one way I've modified this childhood favorite so it can be enjoyed without the guilt!
Fresh parsley and basil is a must in this recipe, not only for the pretty color but the true authentic Italian experience. Surprisingly I have an Italian friend who never ate this favorite of mine in her home growing up, but that doesn't have to stop you if you've never tried it. It may sound a little odd to throw eggs and bacon into spaghetti, but trust me , it works and it works well!
My entire family loves this dish, even the picky hubby who typically hates turkey bacon! You could certainly make this without the ground chicken but I added it in to make the dish a bit more hearty and filling.
Just a few facts about typical carbonara for you...........
According to the LiveStrong website, "Cheesecake Factory's Pasta Carbonara with Chicken one of the unhealthiest restaurant meals in America. The dish has nearly 2,500 calories -- many more calories than most people need to eat in an entire day -- and 85g of artery-clogging saturated fat. The Olive Garden's Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara is high in calories, sodium and fat, totaling 1,440 calories, 3,000mg of sodium, 88g of total fat and 38g of saturated fat." Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/355273-pasta-carbonara-nutrition/#ixzz2LxARUMmi
So with that being said, my nutrition info is below, calculated from nutritiondata.com. I'm pretty happy with my version even if it is still an indulgent dish, it is certainly better than ordering it out at a restaurant don't you think?
Lightened Up Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Chicken
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound brown rice spaghetti I used Tinkyada
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 6 ounces nitrate free bacon or turkey bacon, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound raw ground chicken
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- 3 eggs plus 1 yolk beaten
- 2 cups reserved pasta water
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil then add 1 tablespoon salt.
- Add spaghetti and cook until done to your liking.
- While spaghetti is cooking, add the oil and turkey bacon to a large skillet on medium heat.
- Cook until bacon is crisp and remove to drain on paper towels.
- Add garlic and ground chicken to the same skillet and cook until chicken is browned, keep on low heat.
- Once spaghetti is cooked, drain, but reserve 2 cups of the water.
- Transfer hot spaghetti to skillet with chicken.
- Add bacon and immediately add beaten eggs to pasta.
- Stir and combine well on low heat.
- Add Parmesan cheese and 1 cup reserved pasta water to skillet. (If mixture is too thick add more pasta water.)
- Toss in basil, parsley and lemon zest.