Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash CarbonaraI decided last night tonight we hadn’t cooked Spaghetti Carbonara in ages and I wanted to give a classic recipe a new twist using spaghetti squash for the noodles.  It was delicious!  I think my husband liked it even more then me!  And he usually doesn’t care for spaghetti squash.

Unfortunately, I was out of black olives, and classic carbonara usually has some in it.  I tossed in a small can of drained mushrooms instead and this version came out GREAT!  This recipe is a little high in carbs because the spaghetti squash itself if a bit carb-y.  On the brighter side, it’s all healthy carbs, so you can eat this one guilt-free. 🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo folks will want to use coconut milk for the cream.

I wish I could get smaller squash, but our stores only seem to stock them 3# and larger as a rule. It would be so pretty to serve a half on each plate.  But I’ve only found a small squash ONE time at the store in the 17 years I’ve lived in this town.  Maybe it’s because everything’s bigger in Texas?

NOTE:  If you can get smaller squashes, or grow your own, I would use two smaller 1-1½# squashes for serving 4 people and place one half on each plate.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lb. raw weight spaghetti squash (yields 4 cups cooked threads)

1 c. chopped low-sodium bacon

2 oz. red onion, chopped coarsely

1 oz. red bell pepper (or any color)

1 clove garlic, minced

½ c. parsley

¼ c. heavy cream

1 egg yolk

¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

VARIATIONS:  Add a few sliced black olives for a more authentic dish (I was out); or toss in a small can of drained mushrooms (or 4 fresh ones sliced, added to the saute pan with the onion).

DIRECTIONS:  Cut off squash stem.  Cut squash in half lengthwise.  Place face down in dish with 1/2″ water and microwave on HI for about 25 minutes (only 13 minutes if you do them one at a time).  When done, drain off water, scoop out seeds and discard.  Fork out the threads into the baking dish and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place the squash shells in a baking pan.

Mix the cream, egg yolk and Parmesan in a dish and beat with a fork to blend well. Set aside for a few minutes.

In a skillet, brown the bacon.  Add onion and saute until tender.  Add red pepper and garlic and saute a couple minutes.  Stir in the parsley and let it wilt a couple minutes as well.  Lower heat.   Stir in the egg-cheese mixture.  Stir the squash threads in now.  Spoon the filling back into the shells and pop the pan into your preheated oven.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheese-egg mixture appears done.   Each filled half will probably feed two people, especially if you have a salad or other vegetable with this.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

237 cals, 25g fat, 13.35g carbs, 2.87g fiber, 10.48g NET CARBS, 10.72 g protein, 867 mg sodium

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