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Spaghetti carbonara by Pinch of Nom
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"Classic carbonara is rich with butter and cheese, and some less-authentic versions even use double cream. You can easily replicate the salty rich flavours by using a very simple ingredient: stock. Choosing a strong, full-flavoured cheese such as pecorino and mixing it with a little mustard powder also helps to make the cheese go much further while lowering the calories." - Pinch of Nom
120g dried spaghetti
low-calorie cooking spray
½ onion, finely chopped
250–300g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
200g gammon (all visible fat removed), cut into little pieces
300ml vegetable stock (1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 300ml boiling water)
1 medium egg
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
2 tbsp quark
¼ tsp English mustard powder (optional)
30g pecorino cheese, grated, plus extra to serve (optional)
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1. Place a large pan of water onto the hob to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the packet instructions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, spray a large frying pan with some low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 3 minutes until softened, then add the mushrooms and gammon and fry for another 3–4 minutes until browned slightly.
3. Add the vegetable stock to the frying pan, turn the heat up to high and let it simmer, stirring frequently, until the stock has reduced by half.
4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the black pepper, quark, mustard powder (if using) and pecorino in a bowl. Set aside.
5. Drain the pasta when it’s cooked and tip it into a big bowl. Add the cooked onion, mushroom, stock and gammon mixture and stir well.
6. Slowly add the egg, pecorino and quark mixture to the pasta, stirring constantly. Do not do this over the heat, otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled egg! Once it’s all stirred through, add the parsley. Plate up and sprinkle with a little more pecorino cheese (but don’t forget to count the calories).
This recipe was first published in April 2019.