Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lightened-Up Carbonara Pasta

This dish right here is the definition of a happy accident. I hadn't gone food shopping this week and worked late a few nights and needed to make something quick. I boiled some pasta and was rummaging through my fridge to see what I could add to it. I had some bacon, an onion, and a pepper. I found some peas in the freezer, added a makeshift cheese "sauce," and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

It wasn't until later that I realized it resembled a carbonara. I knew I needed to add it to the blog.

It's really quite easy to make. Start by chopping and cooking your veggies.

While they're cooking, prepare the pasta. Add the cheese wedges and mix - this will serve as your "sauce."

Now, I'm not a professionally trained chef (shocking, I know). I make meals that are easy, tasty, and diet-friendly. Maybe one day I'll learn how to cook a real, professional sauce but until then, these The Laughing Cow cheese wedges work just fine.

When the veggies are done, add them to the pasta and stir to combine.

If your cheese wedges didn't melt fully before, they'll definitely melt when you add the hot, cooked veggies and stir. 

Next up, BACON. I never liked bacon as a kid, but as an adult I've developed a taste for it. I'm late to the game, I know. But the point is, I like it now and I use it in lots of recipes and it really just takes them from good to great. For this recipe, cook the bacon, then crumble it over the pasta and stir to combine.

Finally, add the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, and BOOM. Lightened-up carbonara pasta. 

I made this tonight (Sunday) and plan on bringing it to work for lunch this week. It can be microwaved and eaten hot, or eaten cold as a pasta salad - it's great both ways.

As always, feedback is appreciated!

Until next time!


  • 12 oz (1 box) shell pasta, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 5 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
  • 10 slices Oscar Mayer center cut bacon (or brand of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Serving size: 1/5 of recipe
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value: 9


  1. Spray a large frying pan or skillet with no-calorie nonstick cooking spray. Place it on the stove on medium/high heat and add the green pepper, onion, and peas. Stirring occasionally, cook until the veggies are soft and slightly brown, about 10-12 minutes. (Note: It saves time if you cook the pasta while the veggies are cooking).
  2. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and then transfer to a large bowl.
  3. While the pasta is still hot, add the cheese wedges to the bowl and stir immediately to melt and combine. If the cheese doesn’t melt fully, don’t worry – you’ll stir again after you add the cooked veggies.
  4. When the vegetables are done cooking, add them to the pasta and stir to combine.
  5. Cook the bacon according to package instructions (I always microwave mine, it’s fastest and easiest). Crumble the bacon over the pasta and then stir to combine (I usually just wait until the bacon cools off and then break it into pieces with my fingers).
  6. Add the grated cheese and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, give it one final stir, and serve!

Nutritional Information