Now that we got the spiralized mac and cheese down, it’s time for another classic: Spaghetti Carbonara. And since for the mac and cheese, I gave y’all two options (a butternut squash and a sweet potato), I decided to give you two carbonaras: one zucchini, one sweet potato.
And again, I cannot believe it took me this long to recreate a carbonara: it’s so dang good. That’s a shout out to my friend Shannon, who loves to use the word “dang” when she’s excited about something.
So, dang. Especially now that it’s wintertime, it’s pasta and soup time. You may want to warm some crusty whole grain bread in the oven while you’re making the zucchini version, because you’ll want to sop up the flavors of the egg yolk that infuses with the cooked pancetta.
Also, I’m re-obsessed with cubed pancetta. It’s like a thicker, lovelier version of bacon. Speaking of thicker bacon, if you are ever looking for a steakhouse in NYC, go to American Cut in TriBeCa and order the Bacon, Schaller & Weber appetizer. Trust me. Just, trust me.
Without further ado, here are the recipes. If you’re a vegetarian, swap in some veggie bacon bits to get that smoky flavor.
Sweet Potato Noodle Carbonara
While the sweet potato noodles cook, you cook the pancetta, garlic and onions. Then, you add those sweetened sweet potato noodles into the salty and garlicky pancetta to make an absolutely amazing flavor combination.
To top it all off, this first recipe uses a classic carbonara sauce. It’s butter-free and creamless of course, but the sauce is prepared in the traditional way: beaten eggs and parmesan cheese whisked together and slowly poured over warm pasta to cook slowly and create that eggy-cheesy comforting flavor.
Every bite here is an adventure. Whether you’re getting a spoonful with the creamy sauce or one with more pancetta, you’re delighted. The sweet potato noodles create the perfect sweet and savory balance. The meal is so satisfying and different, that you’ll want to make a big vat of it, like they do on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
If you’re not afraid to get a little creamy, this is the recipe for you. Plus, you’re ditching those refined pasta noodles for fresh sweet potato ones. So, it’s okay to indulge – it’s worth every bite.
- cooking spray
- 2 large (325g+) sweet potatoes, peeled, Blade C
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup cubed pancetta
- For the sauce:
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add in your sweet potato noodles and cook for about 5-7 minutes, tossing frequently, or until noodles are cooked to your preference.
- In a separate skillet (while you cook the sweet potato noodles), add another large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds and then add in the onion. Cook the onion for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to soften and then add in the pancetta cubes. Cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- While the pancetta and noodles are cooking, combine the eggs and parmesan cheese in a bowl and whisk together until not very clumpy. Season with the salt and pepper and set aside.
- Once the noodles are done, add to the skillet with the pancetta, toss to combine and then turn off the heat.
- Slowly, pour in the sauce, stirring constantly, over the noodles. It's important to do this slowly and stir constantly so that the eggs cook while they heat up in the noodles. Use as much sauce as you want until the pasta has enough sauce for your preference.
- Serve into bowls and enjoy!
Healthy Zucchini Pasta Carbonara
When your fork first pierces the egg and the warm yolk spills out over the zucchini noodles, your heart will swoon. This “healthy” version of a spaghetti carbonara is to-die-for. I’ve seen this trick (the fried egg as opposed to the carbonara sauce) in many trendy restaurants and I love it, because you can’t beat that fried egg runny yolk-ness. Nothing compares.
Plus, this is a lower-calorie, low-carb version of the sweet potato carbonara. If you’re trying to watch your waistline but want to indulge, this is the recipe for you.
Guess what? This is under 350 calories!
This version of carbonara will become a quick and easy go-to dinner dish. I promise!
What do you think? Which recipe is your favorite?