Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
Spaghetti Squash creates a gluten-free and Paleo-friendly adaption of classic Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Traditional carbonara is somehow both luscious and delicate at the same time. Crisped pancetta dots spaghetti coated in a sauce made from whipped eggs and parmesan cheese. The heat from the pasta “cooks” the eggs–thickening only, not scrambling–just before serving. Simple salt, pepper, and a little more parmesan finish the dish.
Here’s why you’ll like this recipe.
Sometimes the traditional method of essentially warming whipped eggs is a tad off-putting. You want the flavors, you want the creamy mouthfeel, but you know those eggs aren’t necessarily cooked and it gives you the heebie-jeebies.
Also, not all of us digest dairy or gluten terribly well. We’re on the hunt for an alternative that leaves us feeling as great as the dish tastes. This Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara recipe is just that alternative. I’ve changed up the ingredients to bring more of a flavor punch in order to compensate for substituting pasta for roasted spaghetti squash and omitting parmesan cheese altogether.
If you’re a fan of runny egg yolks, then you’re gonna love the luxurious sauce it creates when swirled with bacon, scallions, and crispy fried garlic… And that, by the way, is one of my favorite elements in this recipe: frying garlic in bacon drippings. *Swoon*
Tell me how it went!
There are a lot of yummy ways to modify Spaghetti alla Carbonara–this is just one approach among many. Deconstructing with poached eggs instead of whipped is a fun play on the recipe. And personally, I’m a sucker for poached eggs. (I’m still dreaming of you, Eggs Benedict 😍 )
In what ways do you like to modify the traditional recipe? Have you poached eggs before? How’d that go? Did you swap out the bacon for pancetta? And how about that garlic frying in bacon drippings? Pretty amazing, right?
- 1 spaghetti squash yield 3 cups harvested
- 8 slices bacon Enough to yield 1 cup's worth when chopped
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar (for poaching eggs)
- 4 to 6 eggs
- ¼ cup reserved bacon drippings
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar (for recipe preparation)
- ¼ cup scallions thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp Italian flat-leaf parsley chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- To roast the spaghetti squash, slice it lengthwise down the center, remove the seeds and roast cut-side down for 40 minutes.
- Turn cut side up when roasting is complete and allow to cool slightly before harvesting the strands with a fork by scraping with the grain until the squash is cleaned. Set aside for later. Allow to drain, if possible.
- Brown the bacon slices in a skillet, set aside to drain and reserve the fat in a separate dish — you should have about ¼ cup of bacon drippings. Chop the bacon into bite-size bits, enough to yield 1 cup of loosely packed bacon bits.
- To make the poached eggs, in a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil with the white wine vinegar mixed into the water. Reduce the temperature so the water falls to more of a gentle, simmering boil (versus rolling).
- Working one egg at a time, crack it into a small bowl or ramekin. Use a spoon to create a whirlpool in the simmering water and gently slide the egg into the center of it. Allow the egg to poach for 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Place on a paper towel to drain the liequid from the egg.
- In a clean skillet, heat the reserved bacon drippings over medium-high heat. When it has come to temp, place the thinly sliced garlic into the fat and gently stir. Garlic burns easily, so be attentive at this step.
- As soon as the garlic has some color, reduce the heat to medium and add the spaghetti squash, tossing together right away. Moving quickly will save your garlic and give your "pasta" unique flavor. And heads up: few things smell better than garlic fried in bacon fat.
- Once the spaghetti squash is coated in bacon fat and fried garlic, add one teaspoon of white wine vinegar, chopped bacon, scallions, and parsley. Toss to combine and let simmer for just a few minutes more.
- To serve, place the desired amount of spaghetti squash on a plate. Top with any extra bacon bits, scallions, or parsley you may have, and then finally the poached egg (or eggs, if you'd like to have two). I like to add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper at this point as well.
- Break open the yolk for the luxurious carbonara experience and serve!
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