Carb-clever ‘carbonara’

By Abigail Donnelly, 12 May 2015

Watching your carb intake but still want to indulge in good old Italian favourites? Abigail Donnelly shares a few clever tricks to help you knock some carbs out of your diet without feeling deprived

Banting is still a buzzword and although I am no longer following this way of eating, I did learn a lot about what to avoid and what to eat more of. For example I still don’t buy cereal for my family and never use artificial sweeteners. I now read labels carefully and am very aware of hidden and not-so-good carbs.
My favourite pasta alternative is the baby marrow “spaghetti” in The Real Meal Revolution and I like to make different sauces to go with it. I really love it that when the baby marrow is salted after slicing, this results in a bite and texture similar to pasta. Find the biggest baby marrows you can get your hands on, then cut – or julienne – them into long ribbons. If you don’t have a julienne slicer, you should consider getting one as it makes the job so easy and you can quickly make a big pile.
Place the ribbons in a colander and toss in salt. Leave for 30 minutes so that the water from the marrow is released and the salt firms up the ribbons. Rinse and pat dry, then very quickly pan-fry the marrow in a little hot oil – just to heat through but it shouldn’t go limp.
And it’s as easy as that! Simply combine with an easy, flavourful sauce like a chilli-and-tomato arrabbiata, or a tart caponata made with brinjal and capers. But my ultimate is an easy, creamy carbonara:
Whisk 2 egg yolks with 1 cup cream and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Fry some chopped bacon and, over a low heat, pour in the egg mixture and quickly cook for I minute, stirring all the time so that the eggs don't scramble. Toss in the cooked baby marrow and season. I also sometimes replace the bacon with chopped anchovies and always serve with extra Parmesan.
The sauce makes enough for two nice big servings and I can eat this by the bowlful!

Abigail Donnelly

Article by Abigail Donnelly

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.
View all articles
Load more