If you’ve been reading my blog as of late, you know I have a new found love of spaghetti squash. I just can’t get enough. The truth of the matter is, I’ve never really been a huge pasta fan. Unless it was stuffed with some cheese and smothered with cream, I’ve always passed on it. But I love this healthy squash! And making it into a carbonara makes it even better.
I love it’s versatility and just how easy it is to prepare. HOWEVER, I will give you a warning on preparing it. Be careful cutting this thing open people. It’s not an easy task and if you’re not careful there may be some stitches in your future. You can Google the best way to cut them open for some additional tips on how to do it safely. I like to live on the edge, therefore, like a fool, I continue to cut it open “normally”. Just be careful out there folks.
A traditional carbonara is made with egg, pancetta (or bacon) and parmigiana reggiano. And yes, parmigiana reggiano is cheese, and yes that’s dairy and no, that’s not considered paleo. BUT, I also give you the option to use ground salted cashews to take it’s place. Problem solved if you are avoiding dairy. 🙂
In a traditional carbonara, you add the egg and cheese to the hot pasta directly to create a creamy “sauce” and the egg essentially cooks from the heat of the pasta. When I was researching a variety of paleo versions however, I found so many (ok, all) making the sauce separately then adding it back in later. I wasn’t sure why that was rather than just tossing the egg directly into the dish itself and letting the heat from the squash do it’s thang. I decided to just go with the traditional way I was already familiar with and I’m glad I did. I’d like to say it’s because I’m a sucker for tradition, but it more so came from my laziness in not wanting to make a whole separate sauce and keep things simple.
There is one area that I want to warm you about this recipe, so listen carefully. Make sure you roast this squash in the oven to cook it. A lot of people use a microwave or InstantPot but I’m going with a NO on that. You really want to make sure that you don’t overcook it as it will become a bit soggy, releasing too much liquid and creating a soggy dish. I also prefer the roast-iness that comes from cooking it in the oven. You can find instructions for roasting it HERE.
I hope you love this as much as me and my family does!
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
Yield 4 -6 servings
A lighter version of the traditional Italian carbonara using spaghetti squash.
- 2 medium sized spaghetti squash
- 1/2 lb. pancetta
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 lb of asparagus trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 C. (roughly 1/2 lb.) grated parmigiana reggiano OR 1 C. ground salted cashews
- 4 eggs
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- Slice spaghetti squash lengthwise in half and scrape out seedy innards
- In a baking dish, place spaghetti squash face down and fill with one inch of water
- Microwave for 13 minutes or until tender
- Using kitchen shears, cut pancetta into small bite sized pieces
- Heat olive oil in pan on medium high heat
- Once oil is hot, add onions and pancetta and cook until onions are soft and pancetta starts to become crispy
- Add garlic and cook for two more minutes
- Using slotted spoon remove onions, pancetta and garlic and place to the side
- Using same pan and grease rendered from pancetta, add asparagus and sauté for 5 minutes or until it becomes tender
- Once spaghetti squash is done, scrape innards into a separate bowl using a fork, be careful it's hot!
- Add pancetta, onions, garlic, asparagus and parmigiano reggiano OR ground cashews to spaghetti squash
- Add eggs to all ingredients and toss until all is coated and egg is cooked through
- Salt + pepper to taste
Cuisine Paleo / Primal