No-Carb-o-nara: Roasted Cabbage Carbonara

When I think about classic pasta dishes the name Carbonara pops up in my head. Try this delicious low carb version.

INGREDIENTS:

ROASTED CABBAGE:

1 small green cabbage

5 cloves of garlic

freshly ground black pepper

60 ml extra virgin olive oil

30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp sea salt flakes

CARBONARA SAUCE:

200 g shoulder bacon cut into pieces

200 ml cream (For a dairy free option use coconut cream or for a reduced fat option use full cream milk)

2 large pasteurized eggs

Freshly ground black pepper

5 ml fish sauce (optional)

Optional: Add some fried chopped onion and mushrooms

METHOD:

  1. Put the oven rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 200 degrees Celcius. Prepare two baking trays with some tinfoil. (This will help you to clean the baking tray afterwards.)
  2. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage as well as the core. Slice the cabbage into thick slices with a bread knife. Place a single layer of the cabbage slices on a baking tray.
  3. Crush the garlic and combine with olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper. Brush the mixture over the cabbage slices. Use about 2 thirds. Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes and turning the cabbage slices about 20 minutes in. Brush with the other 1/3 leftover. The cabbage must become caramalized with slightly burnt edges.
  4. Cut the bacon into tiny pieces. I always use a pair of kitchen scissors. Fry the bacon in a pan without any oil until nice and crispy.
  5. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and cream until smooth. You can add the fish sauce here to taste. This just gives some depth to the cream mixture in terms of salt. You can add some freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  6. In a serving dish: Add the warm roasted cabbage, and immediately add the creamy mix. Add the bacon and some seasoning. Fresh parmezan shavings over the dish will also present beautifully.
  7. Serve warm as is, or as a side dish to your meat. Because you are working with raw eggs, always be aware of Salmonella… This is a bacteria that grows between 5 and 60 degrees Celsius. If you want to be extra careful. You can always bake your Carbonara for an extra 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Serve as is. YUM!!! 

RECIPE STATS:

TIME: 40 – 50  minutes
DIFFICULTY: Easy
SERVES: 6
NUTRITION FACTS

Per serve: 280 kcals; CARBS: 10 g; SUGARS: 5 g; PROTEIN 7 g; FAT: 24g

SOME FACTS ABOUT CABBAGE:

Cabbage, from the brassica family comes in three colours: Green, red (purple) and white and is classified as a leafy green FREE vegetable. The reason why we say it is a free veggie is because it is very low in calories. In fact I think one actually burns more calories when you eat it just as, than it is actually providing you with, through the process of thermogenesis and digestion. Cabbage is a very versatile, AFFORDABLE vegetable. It can be served cold and raw as part of a salad, or warm in soups, stews, or like I did: Roasted in the oven. Cabbage is one of the oldest vegetables in existence. It is high in fiber, vitamin C and K, potassium and magnesium. 

But why do we get so GASSY from eating cabbage??? This is because Cabbage contains high amounts of fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPS) called Raffinose. Raffinose is a type of fiber that ferments in the gut by our gut bacteria, producing gas. It helps to add an acid like vinegar or lemon juice to raw cabbage before you cook it, to reduce the experience of bloatedness. In this recipe I added lemon juice which brings a beautiful caramelized texture and taste to the roasted cabbage. Remember we classify fibers as carbs too. But we cannot absorb fibers, therefore it stays in the gut throughout. AND it is then obviously a LOW CARB VEGGIE✔️

Nicola

4Life Living Dietitian