Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Carbonara

This is a great pasta dish that provides a blank slate for whatever veggies you have on hand.  You can make it even lighter by using turkey bacon or omitting the bacon altogether.  My hubby would never go for the omission of bacon, so I use it on just his portion.  That way we're both happy.  I even mark the leftover containers for with and without bacon so that we can each enjoy the lunch that we're seeking.  A little grated Parmesan on top truly sets this one apart from the rest!

Spring Carbonara

modified from Cooking Light
Serves 6

1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
 2 bundles asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb uncooked rotini pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup egg substitute (equal to 4 large eggs)
3 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 bundle green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
3 cups fresh baby spinach
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1. Cook peas and asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water; drain.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Combine pasta and vegetables.

3. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Add bacon to pasta mixture.

4. Combine cheese, salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add hot cooking liquid to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.

5. Cook bell pepper and green onion in drippings for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.  Add pasta mixture and chicken; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove pan from heat, and stir in egg mixture, crushed red pepper, remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and spinach. Return pan to low heat; cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly, stirring constantly.


  1. Eliminate the bacon? Criminal. Yum.

  2. Looks delicious! Pasta with veggies makes for perfect spring food. I would love to have a bowl of this with me, while reading a good book in my backyard! What do you think about Spring Asparagus and Lemon Fettuccine?


  3. Sophia - I love lemon pastas, I'm adding this to next week's menu. Thanks for sharing!

  4. You're very welcome! Keep up the good work here! I'll check back again soon!



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