At what point does a dish with carbonara in its name and some carbonara components become something else entirely? British food giant Jamie Oliver's healthful version inspires the question.
Makes 2 servings
7 ounces (13/4 cups) frozen green peas
5 ounces whole-wheat pasta, preferably linguine
1 tablespoon sliced, skin-on almonds
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 slice smoky bacon, preferably thick-cut
1 small clove garlic
Leaves from 4 stems fresh basil
21/2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, then the peas. Cook for about 20 seconds, then use a strainer to transfer the peas to a colander to drain.
2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook to the package directions.
3. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a medium dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan as needed to avoid scorching them. Transfer to a food processor to cool.
4. Line a small plate with a paper towel. Heat the oil in the same skillet over medium-low heat while you cut the bacon crosswise into very thin strips. Once the oil shimmers, add the bacon. Cook for about 5 minutes, until just crisped. Transfer to the lined plate to drain; return the skillet to the stove top, off the heat.
5. Add the peas, garlic, basil, cheese, and a pinch of salt to the food processor. Cut the lemon in half; squeeze in its juice. Pulse just enough to create a chunky mixture, then transfer three-quarters of it to the skillet, stirring until just warmed through and combined with the oil in the pan.
6. Whisk together the egg and yogurt in a bowl until well incorporated.
7. Drain the pasta into a colander, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, then transfer the pasta to the skillet, stirring to coat. Pour the egg-yogurt mixture over the pasta and toss quickly, until well incorporated. Add just enough of the pasta cooking water to create a silky, creamy sauce. Taste, and add salt as needed.
Top with the remaining pea mixture (in food processor), and garnish with the bacon. Serve warm.
- Adapted from Everyday Super Food, (Ecco, 2015).