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Spaghetti Carbonara with Fresh Herbs

Spaghetti Carbonara with Fresh Herbs

I’ve thought about making spaghetti carbonara several times, ever since I was introduced to it in a Ruth Reichl book, but I never did until faced with a nearly empty refrigerator (that fortunately did happen to have very good quality bacon). The rustic simplicity of the dish was always intriguing, but the sheer absence of vegetables and color in a main course turned me off. I have to say that when I did finally make I was not disappointed – by tossing in fresh aromatic herbs a pleasant brightness was achieved that balanced the bacon, egg, and garlic.

The coolest thing about spaghetti carbonara is the fact that you cook the egg by tossing them with the freshly cooked pasta. Egg proteins are very sensitive and even just that small amount of heat is enough to denature and partially coagulate them – in other words, the raw egg starts to thicken as the proteins unwind and join back up. This creates a lovely silkiness akin to a fancy sauce only using egg. This is a great recipe to have in your arsenal for when you don’t have time and aim to please. Below recipe serves 2-3 and is adapted from Ruth Reichl’s recipe.

Further Food Commentary:

Besides adding the silky texture that carbonara is known for, the eggs in this dish also supply satisfying protein, choline and selenium to help boost mood and brain health, and vitamin D for bone health and immunity. Garlic has many well-known health benefits to go along with it's delicious flavor and aroma, including lower blood pressure, decrease heart disease risk, and improving bone health and immunity.

By Emily Cooper, RD, LD


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