Meatless Monday Recipe: Asparagus Carbonara
Our lighter version of this classic one-dish Italian meal emphasizes asparagus, tempeh, and a little Parmesan cheese instead of fatty cured meat and cream.
1 pound dried whole wheat spaghetti
4 slices tempeh bacon (optional)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch slices
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 cups water, mixed with about 6 tablespoons white vinegar (for poaching)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
Serves 4. Per serving: 654 calories, 23 g fat (7 g saturated), 88 g carbohydrates, 31 g protein, 15 g fiber, 757 mg sodium (33% Daily Value).
1. Prepare pasta according to directions on the package.
2. If using tempeh, prepare according to directions, crumble, and set aside.
3. Add oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat and sauté garlic and asparagus about three minutes (until asparagus is bright green and tender). Season with salt to taste and grated nutmeg.
4. Bring egg-poaching water to a boil, then lower heat to remain just below boiling.
5. Add drained pasta to sauté pan with garlic and asparagus over medium heat, and toss until pasta is coated. Turn off heat, and add in about 2/3 cup of cheese and toss again.
6. Poach eggs one at a time, carefully cracking the egg into a small bowl and gently sliding it into poaching water. Cook until whites are set and yolks are still runny. Remove with slotted spoon.
7. Scoop pasta into individual bowls; place an egg on top, season with pepper to taste, and garnish with tempeh (if using) and remaining cheese.
8. Serve immediately, mixing up the pasta to spread the egg and yolk throughout the dish.