Saturday, 24 September 2011

Recipe of the Week - Cheats Carbonara

Hello and welcome to another weekly feature that I probably wont keep up! Ha! I love cooking, and creating low fat meals on a budget has become a bit of an obsession. And you can't get more budget busting than pasta. Unfortunately, it's quite a gut buster too, clocking up 1 ProPoint per 10g on Weight Watchers! Compare this to potatoes for example, which are 1 ProPoint per 50g and you can see why I don't eat much pasta any more. But I was in the mood for comfort food, so I created this cheats carbonara which is tasty, quick and cheap! A real carbonara, with eggs, cream and fat-filled parmesan is one of my favourite things to cook out of the question for me at the moment, but this is a great substitute. It comes out at 9 ProPoints per serving.


100g dried spaghetti (10 ProPoints)
100g extra light cream cheese with garlic and herbs (I used Tesco - 2 ProPoints)
1 gammon round (I used Tesco Value), chopped into small squares (6 ProPoints)
1 red pepper, chopped
A few mushrooms, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Serves 2

1. Cook the spaghetti according to pack instructions, reserving about half a cup of the cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and spray with fry light or cooking spray. Cook the gammon, peppers and mushrooms until the gammon is cooked and vegetables softened.
3. Add the cream cheese to the ham and veg, along with a small amount of the pasta cooking water and stir to combine.
4. Combine the pasta and the sauce and season to taste, remembering that if your pasta water was salted you probably wont need much salt!

Although I've not tried it I'm sure this would also work with bacon (2 bacon medallions are only 1PP, to serve 2 people you'd need at least 4), chicken (a medium chicken breast is 4 PP) or prawns (60g for 1PP) so you could make it "cheaper" on ProPoints if you need to, as the gammon round is 6PP.

I served mine with steamed marrow and a garlic bread slice (I used Tesco for 3PP). Some other serving suggestions:

  • brocolli, green beans or courgette could be boiled or steamed and either mixed through the pasta or served on the side (0PP)
  • Weight Watchers Petite Pains for 3PP each
  • green side salad with balsamic vinegar dressing to contrast the creaminess (0PP)
  • 20g of grated half fat cheddar sprinkled on top (1PP)
  • a nice cold glass of white wine! (3PP for a small 125ml glass)
Super simple and tasty! Will you be trying it? How do you make pasta fit in your diet?


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