By Dianne Bunis

Carbonara, a traditional Italian dish, is made healthier -- lower in fat and cholesterol to satisfy taste buds with a rich, creamy taste. Serve with spinach pasta for a healthy, delicious version. Buon appetito!

Light carbonara with peas

Serves 4

12 ounces veggie (spinach) thin spaghetti

8 strips hardwood smoked uncured bacon

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup organic low-fat milk

1/2 cup organic low-fat sour cream

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), julienne cut

1/2 cup frozen petite peas

1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Salt & freshly ground pepper, red pepper flakes to taste

1.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, drain bacon grease and do not wash skillet). Chop the bacon.

2. Bring 5-6 quarts of unsalted water to boil. Place peas in steamer above boiling water and cook until tender, remove. Cover boiling water.

3. Add olive oil, onion and garlic to skillet on medium heat, saute three minutes, until onion is soft.

4. Add oregano and flour, stir to coat.

5. Add milk and bring to a simmer, stir frequently for five minutes until sauce thickens.

6. Add pasta to boiling water, stir occasionally, for six minutes (less 1 minute less than package directions) for "al dente."

7.


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Remove sauce from heat and stir in sour cream, peas, sun-dried tomatoes and basil.

8. Stir in parmesan, season with salt and pepper to taste.

9. Drain pasta, toss with sauce to coat. Serve immediately.