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.
Skinny Carbonara With Peas, Almonds, and Basil
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).
Per serving: 530 calories, 26 g protein, 72 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 110 mg cholesterol, 460 mg sodium, 12 g dietary fiber, 11 g sugar.