Pasta…Low Carb….Yassss. If you’re craving a pasta recipe that is simple to make and is packed full of flavour, then look no further. This dish truly does not disappoint.
I had some leftover smoked chicken in the refrigerator and thought, I know, why don’t I use it up by ketofying a trusty Good Taste dish that I used to eat in my old carb-laiden life. The traditional flavour combination never goes astray but I wanted to up the ante, so I added some beautifully sweet strips of red bell pepper, introduced a smattering of parsley that always delivers a fresh note to rich pasta dishes and topped this dish off with some creamy decadence via the addition of mascarpone cheese (or ricotta if you’re watching your calories).
Once again konjac/shirataki comes to the low carb rescue and provides a wonderful alternative to traditional high carb pastas. I used a fettuccine style konjac pasta but you could also use konjac spaghetti or angel hair.
It only takes about ten minutes to get all of the ingredients prepped and then less than another ten before you’re serving up a hot, aromatic, creamy pasta dish to your friends or family. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted to lick their plates clean because it’s just that tasty! And one last word of advice, make extra, because this dish is fantastic heated up the next day at work for lunch.
Konjac/Shirataki Pasta of choice (e.g. Fettuccine/Angel Hair/Spaghetti)
Red Capsicum/Bell Pepper
Smoked Chicken, torn into bite sized pieces
Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
Basil Pesto, store bought or homemade
Italian Parsley leaves, chopped
Mascarpone Cheese (or Ricotta Cheese)
- Tear or slice the smoked chicken into bite sized pieces and set to the side.
- Slice the red capsicum into julienne strips and the cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters depending on the size of the tomatoes and set these to the side. Coarsely chop the Italian parsley and set to the side.
- Finely grate the parmesan cheese and set aside.
- Strain your konjac pasta (I used fettuccine style) to remove the packaging liquid and then rinse it under running water.
- Place the rinsed fettuccine into a non-stick pan over medium heat on the stove. Dry-fry (i.e. do not add any oil) the konjac pasta for 3-5 minutes to remove some of the moisture content from the konjac pasta, which also improves the uptake of flavour into the pasta when you add the other ingredients.
- Then add the pesto, mascarpone cheese and chicken to the pan of dry-fried pasta. Stir to incorporate all of the ingredients and warm the chicken through (about 1-2 minutes). If the mixture begins to stick to the pan, add the water one tablespoon at a time so that the mixture is creamy but not sticking to the pan.
- Now add the capsicum strips, sliced tomatoes and parmesan, reserving a little of the parmesan to sprinkle over the pasta when plating up. Stir or toss gently just to help incorporate the tomatoes and parmesan but not so much as to mash and break the tomatoes up. Let the capsicum and tomatoes warm through for another 1-2 minutes then divide the pasta mixture between four serving bowls. If you like your capsicum to be softer, add it at the same time as the chicken instead of with the tomatoes.
- Sprinkle the reserved parmesan cheese and chopped Italian parsley over each bowl of pasta and then sit down to enjoy a creamy pasta dish that is full of punchy flavours and will satisfy any pasta lovers cravings.
- You can use ricotta cheese instead of mascarpone cheese if you want to reduce the calorie count. It will decrease the fat content of the dish but still retain really good keto macros.
- Do not be tempted to use pre-grated parmesan cheese. Freshy grated or even freshly shaved parmesan will provide a much better punch of flavour and texture (pre-grated parmesan tends to be drier, sometimes slightly powdery, and lighter in flavour).
- Smoked chicken: I used meat from a whole smoked chicken but you could also use just smoked chicken breasts that can be purchased on their own. Do not use thinly sliced smoked chicken deli meat.
- In a pinch, you can use tinned smoked chicken instead of smoked chicken breast meat but to retain its bite size and texture, ensure you treat it gently when adding it to your pasta or stirring as it will be delicate and have a tendency to break up easily.
- If using a store-bought basil pesto, ensure to read the nutritional label as some brands will be higher in carbs than others. The one I used only contained 5g net carbs per 100g of pesto, contributing just 1.25g net carbs to each pasta serving in this recipe.
Nutritional Information (per serve with Mascarpone)