I know I promised I wouldn’t be all about pretending lower fat/carb/what have you is the real deal, and instead celebrate food for what it is, rather than demonising food groups. And that still stands, even with recipes like this, which substitute traditional pasta for gluten free pulse pasta (that it’s GF wasn’t a consideration in choosing the ingredient, just a note that it IS gluten free, but I’m sure the recipe itself isn’t). Furthermore, from day one of my fitness journey, I’ve been adamant that I wouldn’t cut out any foods – no food would be forbidden, although I knew some meals would be on a much lower rotation.
Of course, common sense dictates that creamy, bacony pastas have been severely limited. I haven’t had a boscaiola in what seems like forever, which is especially sad, as it was once my signature dish! However, this “nots-caiola” means that I can have my pasta and eat it, too! At 385 calories for a smallish serve (small but still adequate – it got me through a 1.5 hour roller derby training session with no problems), it’s not exactly low calorie, but by using a pulse pasta made of lentils, borlotti beans, peas and chickpeas instead of the usual wheat pasta, swapping the cream for the lighter Philadelphia cream for cooking and loading it with veggies, what was once a heavy and indulgent meal is now a nutritious and reasonable occasional weeknight dinner that the whole family loves. It doesn’t taste exactly like my old boscaiola, but it is in no way subpar or inferior. It’s just more nutritious and far less caloric. Win, win, win!
250g dry San Remo pulse pasta
½ cup peas
2tsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
125g shortcut bacon, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into fifths
½ cup chicken stock
2tsp Worcestershire sauce
¾ tub Philadelphia lighter cream for cooking
Black pepper and grated parmesan cheese, to serve.
- Heat oil in large frypan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 4 minutes, or until golden and starting to get a little crispy.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta to packet instructions – that is, boil for 6-8 minutes. In the final minute of cooking, add peas. Rinse, drain and keep warm.
- Stir in mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and cook for a further few minutes, until tender.
- In a bowl or jug, combine cornflour and stock, whisking until smooth. Add cream and Worcestershire sauce, and stir to combine.
- Stir drained pasta into bacon and mushroom mixture. Add cream mixture and stir to combine well. Adjust heat to low and cook for 3 minutes, until sauce thickens and clings to the pasta.
- Serve with ground black pepper and parmesan cheese.