Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tantalizing Thursday

Among the categories I'd like to explore this year, food is near the top of the list. Last  year, whenever I posted a food-based blog, my numbers exploded! It seems that not only do I like food, you do, too! So, I'm trying out a weekly spot in my repertoire for recipes - mine, yours, others'. My plan is to pick a theme for the day and offer up a recipe or two with the hopes that I'll be rewarded with the same. But even if you just like to read the blog to salivate and not reciprocate, that's fine, too!
Today's topic is decadent foods reworked to be healthier. I don't like to skimp on taste, texture, or pleasure, but if food can be remastered using less fat, sugar, or grease and still taste great, I'm in. I road-tested this recipe before the holidays with positive results - my family and I loved it! I simply substitute or omit things based on my family's tastes and urge you to do the same. This entree was simple, rich, and elegant! Add a tossed or Ceasar Salad and a scrumptious baguette and dinner is served!

Recipe from REDBOOK Magazine in their "Restaurant Redo" section (October or November 2010 issue I believe). This recipe was retooled from a Cheesecake Factory staple.

REDBOOK'S Spaghetti Carbonara
(makes 6 servings)

1 lb. spaghetti (I use whole wheat or whole grain)
3 extra large eggs (use 3/4 c. liquid pasteurized egg if egg safety is questionable)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp. each hot red pepper flakes and salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil (I used evoo)
4 oz. diced pancetta or thick-cut bacon
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot, cook spaghetti according to package directions, about 8-11 minutes.  Drain noodles reserving 1 cup pasta water.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together  eggs, parsley, pepper flakes, and salt.
3. Add oil to a large, deep skillet and cook pancetta over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic and black pepper and cook 1 minute more, then reduce heat to  medium-low.
4. Add pasta, egg mixture, and peas, plus half of the pasta water, to skillet with pancetta. Stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes, adding more pasta water if necessary, until sauce has a creamy consistency. Mix in grated cheese; serve immediately.

Each serving (about 1 1/2 cups):  449 cal, 17g total fat, 18g protein, 54g carb

I'm anxious to see how "Tantalizing Thursday" is met by you. Let me know if you are interested in a weekly recipe blog. Looking forward, as always, to hearing from you about anything and everything. Join me tomorrow for the first Friday Music Blog of 2011.

Happy Eating!


  1. Food Food Glorious Food!

    I love carbonara sauce. There is no substitute for pork fat.

  2. Got any recipes that are zero calorie that taste good? LOL I find the worst time of year for me gaining weight is Jan-April. I figure if I can get from Jan-April this year, for the first time, without gaining weight (I dont have to even lose, just not gain!)... I will be in a sweet position for my usual "most fit" time which is Spring/summer. I must maintain... I must not gain! LOL

  3. I like the name!

    I'm going to toss that together Sunday for a little football snack. Thanks.

  4. J.C. - "Tantalizing Thursday"? Hahahahaha, YOU are my 'target audience'! Bon Appetit!

  5. Aye yi yi! Add to that, I found a new little restaurant in Charleston, WV - The Cafe Creperie. All crepes, but breakfast crepes, dessert crepes, lunch and dinner crepes. And the owners are Greek, so some have a Greek twist to the recepies. Oh, it was good stuff. (I got the Greek Chicken crepe).

  6. I made it! Holly cow that's a lot of pasta for 2 (we became empty nesters this fall). I got days worth of tasty leftovers. Thanks.

    I changed the pees for mushrooms.

  7. I'm so glad you tried, changed, and liked the recipe, J.C.! I hope you'll be pleased with "Tantalizing Thursdays" in the future, too!

    How is it being "empty nesters"? I can only imagine!!!