Saturday, November 26

Low-Fat Basil Carbonara

Another busy day at our place; Nick had hockey at 8am, went and worked out, then I decorated the house for Christmas, which took all afternoon and THEN we had to get ready to go see Nick play at the Red Deer Rebels hockey game!  It was really cute because all the little guys get their turn playing during an intermission of the games - super exciting for them!

Anyways, I needed a quick dinner and this is what I came up with:

Low-Fat Basil Carbonara
1/4 pkg of linguine or fettucine (make enough pasta for 2 or 3 servings)
1/2 cup skim milk
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (I used the low-fat Kraft type rather than the fresh parm petals)
2-3 tbsp fresh basil, sliced really finely
salt & pepper
1/2 cup chopped bacon (about 3 slices - I also discarded the really fatty white parts)
1 large shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large egg

Get a large pot of water boiling - add sea salt & cook the pasta according to directions - you will want to cook it to al dente or a bit under because it will cook for a bit in the frying pan later...  Before you drain the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid - very important!!!

In a large non-stick frying pan, get the bacon going over medium-high heat, until nice and golden and crispy.  Reduce the heat to medium low and add the shallot and garlic.

In a small bowl, combine the milk, parmesan, basil, salt & pepper. Set aside. Once the pasta has been drained and that important water has been reserved, add the milk mixture to the bacon mixture... you can bump up the heat a little bit - maybe to medium depending on your stove. Add the pasta in there and stir.

Next up - in the same bowl you had the milk mixture in, beat your egg.  Very slowly, add the reserved water from the pasta - stirring the whole time!!  This is called tempering and it is super important because you dont want to have scrambled eggs in your pasta!

Slowly - go easy to avoid scrambling that egg!
Now you can add the egg and water into the pasta, stir to combine fully and cooked through for about 4 minutes over medium.

Action shot!
VOILA - dinner is done - garnish with a bit more fresh basil, a dash of parmesan and a little fresh ground pepper.  Normally, carbonara is made with a lot of butter and or heavy cream and a lot more eggs.  I found this technique in a really old Cooking Light magazine and I dont even follow the recipe anymore because its just that easy!  You can also use pancetta, but I had bacon - I have also seen recipes for this using turkey bacon, but I have not tried - if you try it at home, let me know how it works out! 

So easy and aside from the bacon, not a lot of fat!

Nick in goal at his first Big Leage game!


  1. This looks great! I love the idea of an addition of egg.

  2. Looks to die-for, and I am always grateful for low-fat options :) Great recipe!