Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spring Vegetable Carbonara

When I think of pasta carbonara, I think of a rich, decadent dish with bacon and eggs and cream. This definitely has the bacon and eggs but adds some delicious vegetables. Basically, it tastes worse for you than it actually is. Some people have criticized Cooking Light lately for making some changes with their recipes and including more seemingly bad foods like bacon and publishing recipes that require frying. But this is exactly how I like to eat. Four slices of center-cut bacon adds a ton of flavor without a lot of meat, and I also used reduced-sodium to cut out some salt. Spring vegetables, bacon, and pasta? As Ina Garten would say, "How bad could that be?"

Spring Vegetable Carbonara
source: Cooking Light May 2010

1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
12 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz uncooked cavatappi pasta
1/2 cup (2 oz) grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
4 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped and seeded

1. Boil a pot of water, and cook peas and asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water; drain. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta into a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Combing pasta, peas, and asparagus.

2. Combine cheese, salt, pepper, and eggs in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add hot pasta water to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and reserve 1 tbsp drippings from pan. Add cooked bacon to pasta/vegetable mixture. Cook bell pepper in pasta drippings for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta mixture; cook 1 minute until thoroughly heated. Remove pan from heat and stir in egg mixture. Return pan to low heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly.

Nutritional Info
Yields 4 servings
Calories: 425, Fat: 14.4 g, Protein: 22.2 g, Carb 52 g, Fiber 5.4 g, Sodium 614 mg