Spaghetti Carbonara with a Twist

This creamy, rich, and decadent spaghetti carbonara recipe will make you feel like you are dining in your favorite Italian restaurant. It is gluten, dairy, and egg free, Paleo, and AIP friendly.

Bowl with spaghetti carbonara  and crispy bacon on top.

Spaghetti Carbonara with a Twist

When you cut out grains the cravings for Italian food are real for many people. Unfortunately, so many of those signature dishes we love are full of ingredients that can be problematic for many of us with food sensitivities. That is why I am so excited to share my latest creation with you…Spaghetti carbonara!!! I added my own twist to it and yes I am aware that the original recipe calls for eggs, so obviously those are not part of this recipe. 🙂 Nevertheless, the taste is incredibly close. And I know what you are thinking? Is this another one of those spaghetti squash recipes? No shade to the spaghetti squash, I actually really like it, but let’s be real, it’s just not the same if you are really in the mood of pasta. Let me present to you my latest pasta obsession:

Kelp Noodles

I recently discovered these on Wild Mountain Paleo Market and was pleasantly surprised by the taste. The taste is actually very neutral, they kind of remind me of glass noodles, consistency wise as well. They have been my latest go-to because you can easily store them in your pantry. And they are perfect for people with all kinds of food restrictions. You simply soak them in warm water for a few minutes and then heat them in your sauce. This way you can create recipes within minutes. They are low carb, with a good amount of iodine, something I personally need a bit more of in my diet. A word of caution on iodine and kelp: If you have a thyroid condition talk to your doctor and nutritionist about including foods high in iodine before you do so. Although enough iodine is crucial for thyroid health, too much can actually trigger thyroid diseases as well.

The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for iodine is 150 mcg. According to the manufacturer, This specific brand contains 54.80 mcg of iodine per serving (a package has 3 servings). Keep that in mind. This is a lot less than other kelp products but again check with your doctor and nutritionist if kelp noodles and how much would be appropriate for you.

These noodles are very crunchy by nature, so the key is to cook them in the sauce for a few minutes until they are soft.

Bowl with spaghetti carbonara  and crispy bacon on top.

Ingredients in Spaghetti Carbonara

  • Kelp noodles: I already spoke in length about them above. You can also substitute them with all types of other pasta that works for your dietary needs.
  • Bacon: Traditional spaghetti carbonara recipes call for pancetta, which is a cured type of pork belly similar to bacon. Since I am not sure how accessible this is to everyone I decided to go for bacon. But if you have access to it feel free to use pancetta. When choosing bacon make sure it is from pasture-raised animals and raised without antibiotics. Also, watch out for additives. Ideally, bacon should only have pork, water, salt, and cultured celery powder.
  • Leeks, mushrooms, and garlic: This is where the major twist comes in, as these are not typical for a traditional carbonara recipe. My thought process: First of all I love to add more veggies to a dish whenever I can. Secondly, when omitting key ingredients like dairy and eggs I think flavorful veggies create a beautiful sauce that won’t taste like coconut.
  • Coconut cream: Will be the substitute for eggs and cheese that is used in the traditional recipes to create a creamy sauce. As mentioned, to not make it taste coconutty key is to use flavorful veggies and spices and let the coconut cream soak up all the flavors. Meaning the longer you cook it together with the bacon and veggies the more it loses the coconut flavor. The type of coconut milk/brand plays a huge part here as well. Always buy canned full-fat coconut milk. Preferably without any additives, the fewer the better. The best option is just coconut and water as the ingredients. Also, opt for a BPA free can. The cream will rise to the top, especially if you put it in the fridge overnight. I like this brand.
Bowl with spaghetti carbonara  and crispy bacon on top.

More AIP Comfort Foods

Changing your diet because of food sensitivities can make you feel like you have to wave goodbye to some of your favorite comfort foods. I am hoping this spaghetti carbonara recipe will help you fill that void. It definitely did the trick for me. Below are a few other comfort food recipes that will help you with that. Eating is supposed to be fun and delicious, no matter your food restrictions.

I cannot wait for you to try this spaghetti carbonara recipe and would love to get your feedback, please leave a comment below. And as always don’t forget to tag me in your food pictures on Instagram

Happy cooking

~Annika

Print Recipe
Spaghetti Carbonara with a Twist
This creamy, flavorful spaghetti carbonara recipe will make you feel like you are dining in your favorite Italian restaurant. It is gluten, dairy, and egg free, Paleo, and AIP friendly.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Soak the kelp noddles in a medium-sized bowl in warm filtered water for 10-20 minutes and detangle them gently with your fingers. Once done rinse them.
  2. In the meantime, wash and slice the mushrooms, and the leeks into thin slices. Leeks tend to have soil inside. Make a cut lengthwise and wash them thoroughly. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Cut the bacon into small cubes/squares.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and fry until golden brown for about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and set it aside. If there is a lot of excess fat in the pan scoop some out and save it in the fridge for the next time you cook.
  4. Reduce the temperature to medium-low and add the garlic, leek, and mushrooms to the pan. Stir and cook until the mushrooms and leeks are cooked for about another 5 minutes. Add the coconut cream and stir (make sure to scrape off everything from the bottom of the pan. Add the bacon back in (feel free to save a few pieces as garnish) and cook everything in the sauce for a few minutes, taste, and add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to your liking. The longer you cook the bacon and the vegetables in the coconut cream the better the flavor of the sauce.
  5. Finish up by adding the kelp noodles to the pan. At this point, they will be very crunchy so it is important that they cook in the sauce for a couple of minutes until they have a soft consistency (about 5 minutes). Cover the noodles with the sauce and move them around until they become soft. Now do a final taste test to check if you need to add more salt or other spices. If the noodles are still crunchy they need to cook in the sauce for a bit longer.
  6. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for a couple of days. This dish heats up very nicely the next day. The key is to give it enough time to warm up so that the noodles become soft again. Add some chopped parsley and cracked black pepper as a garnish.
Recipe Notes
  • A word of caution on iodine and kelp: If you have a thyroid condition talk to your doctor and nutritionist about including foods high in iodine before you do so. Although enough iodine is crucial for thyroid health, too much can actually trigger thyroid diseases as well. This specific brand contains 54.80 mcg of iodine per serving (a package has 3 servings). Keep that in mind. 
  • Always buy canned full-fat coconut milk. Preferably without any additives, the fewer the better. The best option is just coconut and water as the ingredients. Also, opt for a BPA free can. The cream will rise to the top, especially if you put it in the fridge overnight. If the coconut milk can does not"produce" a full cup of coconut cream you can use a bit more coconut milk to make it a cup.

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