It wasn’t until my adult life that I really grew to appreciate the wonder that is bacon. Now that my eyes have been opened, I find it hard to pass up dishes that insist on bacon as a main ingredient. When I found this recipe for a lighter version of linguine carbonara, I thought it was a great addition to my recipe box. A traditional carbonara recipe is known for it’s creamy sauce that is also calorie-loaded, where as this version can be made with a low-fat can of evaporated milk if you want. If you’re looking for a simple way to make carbonara, you’ll want to check out this recipe.
1 16oz. box of uncooked linguine
6-8 slices of cooked bacon (depends on how bacon-y you want it!)
1/2- 1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup evaporated milk (you can use non or fat-free for a lighter version)
1/4-1/2 cup of red pepper, finely chopped
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
This is a pretty simple recipe that can be whipped up in under 30 minutes. It calls for bacon that’s already cooked, so do yourself a favor and just make a little extra at breakfast, or cook some before you start your dinner so that you don’t have to fight the popping bacon on the stove while you’re trying to make your noodles and sauce.
Start your pot of boiling water for the linguine and chop up about 1/2 cup of red pepper, very finely. This is about a half of one large red bell pepper. I just ended up tossing in most of the remaining chopped pepper because what else am I going to do with it?
Don’t forget to add your noodles when your water is boiling! In a medium sauce pan on medium heat, add 1 cup of evaporated milk and egg. Whisk until egg is well mixed.
Toss in your black pepper, red pepper flakes and chopped red bell pepper. Mix well. Now, here’s the part you need to be careful about when making carbonara- you want the sauce to be well mixed, hot and creamy. But you DON’T want to make it so hot that you fry the egg. Trust me- I’ve done this and your sauce is ruined. So, keep an eye on it, stir it often and don’t be afraid to remove from heat entirely and then warm up when your noodles are done.
While your sauce is heating, tear or cut your bacon into small pieces. Yum.
When your noodles are about 2 minutes from being done, add 1/2- 1 whole cup of frozen peas. I like more peas so I do the full cup.
Your sauce should be looking like this now and be thick enough to coat a spoon when dipped:
Remove from heat and add bacon and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Mix well.
Pour out noodles and peas into strainer.
Return to stock pot and then pour sauce on top, with remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (or more if you like it cheesy!).
Serve and enjoy!
This recipe adapted from Taste Of Home’s Light Linguine Carbonara.