Spaghetti Carbonara (Minus the Heavy Cream)

A little like bacon and eggs with spaghetti instead of toast, this classic Italian dish is as simple as it is decadent. The traditional recipe is made with cured pork jowl (guanciale) or bacon. And although some recipes call for cream, true carbonara contains none.

The creamy, Parmesan-enhanced sauce is made by allowing whole eggs to gently heat in the just-cooked spaghetti. In this recipe, by eliminating cream and swapping ham for bacon, I was able to shave off 100 calories and 1,500 milligrams of sodium per serving. Not only delicious, the pasta is also an ideal last-minute dinner.

No-Cream Spaghetti Carbonara

Serves 4
1 pound multigrain spaghetti
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ pound baked or smoked ham, diced
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown on all sides, stirring frequently.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, pepper and nutmeg. Remove the skillet from heat. Drain the spaghetti and immediately add it to the skillet with the ham. Add the egg mixture and toss to coat (the heat from the spaghetti will cook the eggs). Fold in the Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the parsley.

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 396
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 53 grams
Sugars: 3 grams
Protein: 27 grams
Sodium: 527 milligrams
Cholesterol: 75 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams
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