Perfect pasta for menopause: Spinach and mushroom carbonara

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A nutritious and easy to prepare pasta dish that may also lift your menopause mood.

Spinach is our Hot Flush go-to-green, getting your fill may result in a happier disposition as it contains tryptophan an amino acid that plays a big role in manufacturing serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects your mood, sleep and appetite.

Mushrooms are a great source of zinc. Deficiency in this nutrient is linked to low levels of testosterone, a hormone that women lose as they enter perimenopause.

The omega-3 in pine nuts is not only good for your heart, it may also positively impact your levels of serotonin.

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Serves:          4

Prep time:     5 minutes

Cook time:     10 minutes 

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ingredients

  • 300g whole wheat pasta
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 250g chestnut mushroom, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 240g spinach leaves
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 100ml crème fraiche
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 3tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions or until al dente.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat a large non-stick frying pan, add the butter and oil and garlic, next add the mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 mins or until the mushrooms are golden. Stir in the spinach and stir until the leaves are just wilted. Remove from the heat and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Beat the eggs with the crème fraiche, half the parmesan, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the water, return the pasta to the pan, stir in the egg mixture and a little of the reserved water. Stir well – the mixture will thicken as the heat from the pasta cooks it. Stir in the mushroom and spinach and pine nuts (leave a few to serve). Divide between bowls and sprinkle with parmesan and a few extra pine nuts.

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