This recipe is a light, spring twist on a normal carbonara. Slightly healthier with no creme freche or cream and more veggies – also no added salt.
Broad Beans are added to this recipe – i LOVE broad beans – despite the effort of cooking them and de-podding them as they cook they are so worth the effort. Not only are they are great source of vegetable protein and fibre so they give us energy and keep out digestive system ticking along, they are also packed with vitamin B – this is good for pregnancy, helps cell strength and finally are a great source of calcium, manganese and iron.
The dish was delicious, rich sundried tomatoes and salty, crispy pancetta were balanced with the creaminess of the broad beans and parmesan and the tang from the lemon juice and zest. Fresh herbs were added for extra freshness especially mint, which goes so well with pancetta, parmesan and the beans.
1 courgette – spiralized for courgetti
1 serving wholewheat spaghetti
100g pancetta cubes
1 clove garlic – finely diced
Juice and Zest of 1/2 Lemon
8 sundried tomatoes – sliced
200g Broad Beans
1 egg – beaten
Handful of Parmesan – grated
Handful of fresh mint and fresh parsley – chopped
Pop the spaghetti in a pan to cook in boiling water for 8 minutes until al dente.
Cook the pease and broad beans in a pan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes and shell the beans discarding the skins.
Get yourself a frying pan and in a little olive oil, fry the pancetta until slightly crispy, as the pancetta starts to caramelise, add the garlic. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set to one side.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the courgetti, tomatoes, lemon juice and zest and herbs.
Next pop the cooked pasta into the large frying pan (utilise that pancetta and garlic oil for extra flavour) on a very low heat and add the egg. Keep mixing through and add the pancetta and garlic. As the egg scrambles and mixes through the pasta add the courgetti and tomatoes and mix everything together. The egg should lace through the dish
providing a creamy element and tying all the other ingredients together. Finally scatter over the parmesan and stir through. Try not to leave the pan on the heat after the egg is cooked through as the dish could overcook and there is a risk it could all turn to mush when you want to retain that light, fresh, zing.
Despite this weekend being super warm and sunny in London, after being reminded by a friend of the joys of homemade baked beans and having some sausages to use in our ever-packed freezer this was the dish of the day on Sunday.
I am currently studying for a diploma in Nutrition and this weekend was completing the Protein module. Beans are an excellent source of protein which is essential for the growth and repair of cells including muscle, skin and hair. Protein is made up of essential amino acids (there are 9) and whilst beans don’t contain all 9 amino acids (they are an incomplete protein), when mixed with another incomplet protein, for example grains or brown rice, both become complete. So for vegetarians out there reading this, I would advise you substitute sausages with high protein vegetables including brocolli, kale, peas, spinach and serve the beans alongside some brown rice or with a wholewheat tortilla.
4 Good Quality, low fat Sausages
1 tin Borlotti Beans
1 tin Plum Tomatoes
1 red onion – finely sliced
1/2 red chilli – diced
1tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Paprika
1tsp dark brown sugar/molasses
2 Bay Leaves
1 sprig Rosemary – leaves chopped
Salt for seasoning
Start by browning the sausages in a large pan in the olive oil. When browned on all sides, take out of the pan and leave to one side. Pop the onions into the pan and cook to soften for 5 minutes or so, add the chilli and stir together for 2 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes and stir, slowly bringing to a simmer. Mix in the rosemary, paprika, vinegar, sugar and bay leaves and continue to simmer the mixture for a few minutes seasoning with salt if you think it is needed. Add the sausages back into the pan, pop the lid on and leave on a low heat for a further 30 minutes. Keep checking on the sauce, it will reduce and thicken to a rich ragout-type mixture, keeping the sausages moist. Don’t let it over-reduce as this will become dry and dry out the sausages so add a little water if necessary.
I served my sausages and beans with roasted cauliflower and asparagus.
I’ve been craving something like this for a while and after a rainy, grey Monday here in London and a pretty hardcore workout with my trainer at the gym, tonight was the night to try this.
The soup is light but punchy with chilli heat and I used 2% turkey mince for the meatballs, partly because I couldn’t find chicken mince in Sainsburys but also because turkey is leaner and better for protein content than other meats so good for after a workout.
1.5l chicken stock
1 onion – finely diced
1 carrott – finely diced
1 glove garlic – grated
3tbsp Sriracha chilli sauce
200g Turkey Mince
2tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2tbsp Sesame Oil
Sprinkle of white pepper
2 Nests Fine Egg Noodles
1 Red Chilli – sliced
2 Spring Onions – sliced
Sesame Seeds for serving
Slowly fry the onion, garlic and carrot in some oil until softened. Mix in the sriracha chilli sauce to coat the vegetables and then pour over the stock and leave to simmer.
To make the meatballs mix the mince, soy, white pepper and sesame oil together and then mould into 10-12 small meatballs. Lightly fry in some groundnut oil until cooked through and lightly browned on the outside – this shouldn’t take more than 8-10 minutes.
Pop the meatballs and noodles into the broth and leave to simmer until the noodles are cooked – should take about 6-8 minutes.
To serve, split into bowls and scatter the fresh chilli, spring onion and sesame seeds on top.