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Amazing comfort food made low carb without losing any taste or texture!
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Why Low Carb Spaghetti Carbonara?
Seriously! Have you ever had spaghetti carbonara?! I lived in Italy for 3 years and avoided it because I knew the sauce was made with egg yolks. Then, one day, I ate it without knowing and I was HOOKED! I ate it three times a week until I left – no joke!
I got the idea because I saw pre-made butternut squash spaghetti noodles in my produce section. Since butternut squash has a deeper and richer flavor than zucchini (zoodles), I thought it might be good to try and I was right! It’s so tasty and works for Keto!
Butternut squash noodles make the meal feel more complete and heartier than if you were to have zoodles.
It’s another great way to sneak in an egg and all its amazing benefits!
Gestational Diabetes Diet
Yes – butternut squash is one of the higher carb/higher glycemic veggies that dietitians would prefer you’d stay away from, but if you can handle them, why not?
Plus there’s such a good balance of protein to carbs to fat here that it lowers the overall glycemia of the meal.
If you would prefer, you can use other noodles that you know work well for you. A few options are zoodles, veggie-based pasta or protein fortified pasta. Any of these can be found in your local grocer either in the produce, frozen or pasta sections.
This recipe requires a bit of technique called tempering. You have to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble. Here’s a video on how to do it.
Outside of choosing a different pasta/noodle (as mentioned above), you don’t want to alter this recipe too much because the flavor of carbonara really requires a delicate balance.
1 – The recipe calls for thick sliced bacon because that’s easier to find than pancetta (what it’s supposed to be made with). If you have pancetta, use it, or you can use regular bacon.
2 – You can go vegetarian and make it without the bacon! It’ll still have a really rich and creamy flavor.
3 – The one alteration I’d say is okay is to double the amount of Aged Asiago. It’s the saltier cheese of the two. If you enjoy Asiago or like things on the saltier side, add up to 1 tablespoon more of Asiago (instead of extra salt).
4 – You can also use Romano in place of the Asiago.
Pre-packaged butternut squash noodles tend to go sour 2-3 days before the listed expiration. Make sure you look at the date before buying!
Hard cheeses are wonderful in macros – no carbs but great protein and fat.
This recipe offers a ton of fat and protein to balance the carbs, as well as good iron, calcium and choline. These are helping baby’s brain development and fighting neural tube defects and anemia in you.
The information above is found in Lily Nichols’ book Real Food for Pregnancy.
Low Carb Carbonara
- 3 slices Thick Bacon
- 1 package Del Monte Butternut Squash Spaghetti Noodles
- 1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/8 t Salt
- 1/4 t Fresh Ground Black Pepper (or regular)
- 2 Tbsps Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, shredded (Parmesean)
- 1 Tbsp Aged Asiago Cheese, shredded
- 2 each Egg Yolks
- Heat a skillet on medium heat. Separate the yolks from the eggs and place in a medium sized bowl. Measure out all ingredients.Tip – Egg whites are freezable! Save them for an omelet for another day!
- Cut the bacon into quarter-inch pieces before frying, or crumble/chop the bacon after frying.I found that cutting it before frying gave me the exact crispy texture desired.
- If using hard or frozen pasta, cook per the package instructions.
Fry the bacon
- Add the bacon and fry crispy. Remove the bacon and let it drain on a paper towel.
Saute the noodles
- Reduce the heat to medium low and add the butternut squash noodles into the skillet with the bacon fat. Cover and let cook 4-5 mins. Stir once or twice.
- Remove the noodles and set aside. Remove the skillet from the heat and reduce to the lowest heat.
Make the sauce
- Add the cream, salt, pepper and cheeses to the skillet (still removed from the heat). Let it warm. If it begins to boil or pop, remove it from the heat.Have a cup of cold water on standby.
- After it has warmed for 2 mins, SPOON the cream into the bowl with the yolks and MIX AFTER EACH SPOONFUL. This is called tempering – gradually raising the temperature of the yolks to the temperature of the cream so they don’t scramble.
- When you've mixed all of the cream with the yolks, return the mixture to the skillet and place back on the low heat. Cook for 1-2 mins.If you see any chunk or texture in the sauce, immediately remove from the heat. Add 1 Tbsp of water and stir. Do not scrape the bottom when stirring.The yolks have to cook for 2 mins, so return to the heat if necessary.
- Add the noodles and toss to coast them with the sauce.
- Serve with bacon on top.