I am travelling again this week. This time to Italy with a Keto Spaghetti Carbonara with Pancetta. Since I can’t really travel during the lockdown, I decided I am going to create some of my favourite dishes from my travels. Last week I made a Keto Quiche Lorraine that took me back to France.
Today I am heading to Rome where I first had an authentic Spaghetti Carbonara. I was exploring the side streets of Rome, what I usually do when I travel and want to find that hidden gem. While stumbling through a back alley I found this cute little restaurant that looked like my nonna was sitting at the door.
She waved at me and said “mangiato spaghetti alla carbonara?”. I do speak broken italian and understood what she was saying. I responded that I have had it but from back home in Canada. At the time what I thought I knew what pasta carbonara was, wasn’t actually carbonara.
In fact I was wrong. My italian family in Canada would always make Spaghetti Aglio e Olio which sometimes would be called carbonara but truth is, I never had carbonara until this cute little nonna made it for me.
Why Do I Love Spaghetti Carbonara?
In reality the traditional spaghetti carbonara uses real pasta and guanciale (pig cheeks) and not bacon or pancetta. Sadly guanciale is hard to find around here and well, as a diabetic I no longer eat pasta unless it’s a low carb version such as konjac, shirataki, zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. Although I will always enjoy my mom’s lasagna whenever I go home to visit her twice a year.
This dish feels so creamy and rich and to be honest, it has sex appeal. I really can’t explain it, spaghetti seems to have that sensual attraction to me. Maybe I watched Lady and the Tramp too many times. Plus the salty and meaty pancetta just gives it that extra dreamy experience. Don’t forget the yolk, need I say more?
The Noodles for Keto Spaghetti Carbonara
Everyone has their favourite keto and low carb noodles. For me, I usually prefer a zucchini noodle simply because it’s a whole food and is a much cleaner ingredient without all the fibre. However, for this dish I felt shirataki noodles were appropriate as I wanted that sensual mouth feel of spaghetti, plus it looks more like the real thing.
Ingredients for Carbonara
Other than the noodles this dish has only a few more ingredients. Unlike other pasta sauces, this one does not require simmering a sauce for hours, nor does it require crushing tomatoes or peeling garlic.
Made of pork belly meat that is salt-cured and crisp up nicely when fried in a pan. Perfect little bites that have a big flavour.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is an Italian hard, granular cheese produced from cow’s milk and aged at least 12 months. Use freshly grated parmesan for this dish. I truly believe the more parm used the better this pasta tastes. So load it on as much as you like.
Fresh eggs please and try not to drop the eggs into the pasta while it’s too hot. You will end up with scrambled eggs. It’s better to remove the pasta from the heat and then add the egg mixture. Don’t worry, the heat from the pasta will cook the eggs.
Freshly ground black pepper is preferred. It truly makes the dish and brings out way more flavour.
Step by Step Instructional Video
Let’s Make the Spaghetti Carbonara
Keto Spaghetti Carbonara with Pancetta
- 210 g Shirataki Noodles I used Nupasta
- 125 g Pancetta
- 2 tbsp Grated Parmesan
- 2 large egg yolks only
- 1 large whole egg
- 1/4 tsp Salt half for Noodles and half for sauce
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper half for Noodles and half for sauce
- 1/4 cup hot water
- Rinse and dry the shirataki noodles and add to a medium size frying pan on medium/low heat, stir occasionally to remove moisture
- Cube 1 cup of pancetta and fry in a medium sized frying pan on medium heat
- add black pepper to pancetta
- in a medium bowl add the yolks, egg, 3 tsp of grated parmesan and 1/8th tsp of black pepper and whisk until well combined
- once moisture removed from noodles add them into the frying pan with the pancetta
- add a pinch of salt and pepper
- if dry add 1/4 cup of hot water
- turn off stove and remove pancetta and noodles away from heat
- quickly add the egg sauce mixture and stir to coat the noodles
- add more black pepper and parmesan as desired
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