Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader's Digest CanadaMarch 4, 2008
This version of the all-time favourite spaghetti carbonara makes use of low-fat dairy products and dry-cured ham instead of bacon to make a healthier dish with no compromise on flavour. To complete the meal, serve with a roasted tomato salad.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). To make the roasted tomato salad, place the tomatoes in a shallow ovenproof dish, cut-side up. Sprinkle with the garlic and basil. Season with pepper and drizzle the olive oil over. Roast for 10 minutes.
Mix the salad greens in a serving dish. Add the onion, cucumber and fennel. When the tomatoes are done, spoon them, with all their hot juices, over the greens.
While the tomatoes are still roasting, cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the package instructions, until al dente.
Meanwhile, dry-fry the slices of prosciutto in a very hot, heavy-based frying pan for 2–3 minutes or until just crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel, then crumble or snip into small pieces. Set aside. Beat the eggs with the cream, then mix in the ricotta, half of the Parmesan cheese and a little pepper.
Drain the spaghetti. Return the empty pan to the heat and pour in the egg mixture. Heat for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly, then put the drained spaghetti back into the pan. Toss the spaghetti with the creamy egg to coat the strands with the mixture. The heat of the pan and the hot pasta will lightly set the eggs to make a creamy carbonara sauce.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan cheese and the prosciutto, and accompanied by the roasted tomato salad.
Per serving: 501 calories, 25 g protein, 18 g total fat, 8 g saturated fat, 203 mg cholesterol, 59 g total carbohydrate, 9 g sugars, 9 g fibre, 704 mg sodium
Pasta, when cooked al dente, scores healthily low on the Glycemic Index, which means that it breaks down slowly into glucose in the body, providing long-lasting energy. Serving an interesting salad as a major part of a meal is a good way to avoid over-indulging in fatty foods.