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Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke Photo by: Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

Asparagus and Chicken Carbonara

This healthy chicken carbonara dish is not only absolutely delicious, it's also lower in fat and calories than traditional pasta carbonara.

Cooking Light JUNE 2004

  • Yield: 5 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 2 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 cups chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast meat
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preparation

Cook pasta in boiling water 10 minutes or until al dente; add asparagus during final 2 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid. Combine reserved cooking liquid, egg substitute, and milk, stirring with a whisk.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add vermouth; cook 1 minute. Add pasta mixture; stir to combine. Remove from heat; stir in milk mixture, chicken, and cheese. Place pan over medium heat, and cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, salt, pepper, and bacon. Serve immediately.

Note:

Raw egg yolks and whipping cream traditionally add the creaminess and fat to pasta carbonara. This lighter version with asparagus and chicken achieves the same texture with egg substitute and nonfat evaporated milk. Prevent the eggs from scrambling by being careful not to heat the egg mixture too rapidly. Eat this dish immediately to enjoy its velvety creaminess; if it stands, the sauce can become too thick.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 416
  • Calories from fat: 23%
  • Fat: 10.8g
  • Saturated fat: 3.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2g
  • Protein: 34.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 41.9g
  • Fiber: 3.1g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Iron: 3.4mg
  • Sodium: 700mg
  • Calcium: 236mg
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Asparagus and Chicken Carbonara recipe

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