Spaghetti Carbonara has always been a favourite of mine and was a mere treat, if I allowed myself to have it when dining out at an Italian restaurant. We all know to stay clear of creamy based sauces, if we are trying to avoid weight gain and sadly, this was one of the sacrifices that I often made. Not any more with my Spaghetti Quarkonara!!!
I have never been a fan of cream and these rich creamy dishes, just don’t seem to agree with me, as was the case when I was a baby too. Sometimes, I have come away from a restaurant feeling sickly if the dish was quite sauce heavy and once, I had to leave half of my plate because it was just too rich. (I never leave food, EVER!)
As I had been using quark in smoothies and in curries at the time, I experimented substituting quark in place of the single cream, meaning less calories and saturated fat and increasing my protein intake. Winner! The true taste test came, when I served it to my boyfriend, he often eats with his eyes and ears and so if you tell him that we are going to cook a healthy meal he is always sceptical. So now I just don’t tell him ; ) Little did he know, it was a healthy version, mwuahahaha! And, the result, was that he stated that it was the best carbonara he had had. He always asks to have it during the week.
I also like to use wholewheat versions of pasta too, as they are significantly higher in fibre and nutrients than the white varieties, as well as them keeping you fuller for longer. This is a major positive for me, as I am always hungry! In this recipe, the ingredients are shown below. I used wholewheat spaghetti and nowadays, they are very accessible in most supermarkets. So stock up!
Let me know what you think, have a go & tag me in your pictures of your Spaghetti Quarkonara on Instagram. Enjoy x
- 350g Wholewheat Spaghetti
- 100g lean back bacon (cut away rind & fat)
- 200g fresh or frozen peas
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 Courgette, grated
- 1x onion, finely diced
- 2 tsp olive/rapeseed oil for frying
- 2 garlic cloves
- 50g parmesan cheese
- 5 tbsp quark
- nutmeg to taste (optional)
- salt/pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions (normally 12-15 minutes).
- In a large frying pan, fry the onion in oil with the garlic and bacon until it starts to brown , then when the frying pan contents is ready add the courgette and peas to the pan until thawed (if frozen).
- Meanwhile, while the bacon is cooking, in a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, half the parmesan, quark with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Drain the cooked spaghetti and using tongs transfer the spaghetti to the contents of the frying pan. Pour in the quark mixture, turn on the hob to a low heat and coat all of the spaghetti and allow the mixture to thicken.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning and consistency (to your liking, if necessary) by adding a splash of milk or another spoonful of quark to make runnier, then serve the spaghetti quarkonara immediately and sprinkle the remaining grated parmesan cheese over the top.
- Optional: Could also add some fresh herbs here, such as a handful of chopped chives or ½ tbsp flat leaf parsley.