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Spaghetti Squash alla Carbonara

I have recently discovered how much I looove spaghetti squash. If it is cooked well, I think it is just as good as regular pasta (maybe even better). It is a great low- carb, gluten-free, lower calorie alternative to wheat pasta.

Toss some cooked spaghetti squash in some browned butter and a bit of grated Parmesan and it is INSANELY delicious. You won't believe how good it is! I have also made spaghetti squash with a classic bolognese sauce and it was also really good. So, I started thinking of other classic pasta dishes and decided to make a Spaghetti Squash alla Carbonara.

 Spaghetti alla Carbonara (literally: Coal Miner's Wife Spaghetti in Italian) is a classic Italian pasta dish that usually contains Pecorino Romano, cured fatty pork, raw eggs and freshly cracked black pepper. The hot pasta is tossed vigorously with the raw eggs and a bit of the starchy pasta water and it makes a creamy sauce without using any cream. The starch from the pasta  is the key to a successful carbonara. The spaghetti squash doesn't have the starch that the pasta has, so I thought that I would instead top my dish with a soft poached egg. You know what they say....everything is better with a poached egg on top! They say that, right?

Spaghetti Squash Alla Carbonara
(low-carb, gluten-free)
recipe source: Beer.Butter.Bacon original recipe
serves: about 4 (depending on the size of spaghetti squash)

1 medium to large spaghetti squash
4 strips of center cut bacon, diced
1/2 Spanish onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, plus extra for garnishing
1/2 tsp. chili flakes, optional
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 eggs, or one egg per serving
1 to 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Prepare the spaghetti squash:

Preheat oven to 375 F. CAREFULLY, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and stringy guts ( I love to roast the seeds! Drizzle with a little oil, salt and pepper and roast for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown - great healthy snack! ) Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 40 minutes. Let cool. Take a fork and scrape lengthwise into long spaghetti- like strands. This can be made up to one day ahead of time

For the poached eggs:
Fill a medium size saucepan with a few inches of water. Add 1 or 2 Tbsp. vinegar to water. Heat until just barely boiling. Break an egg into a ramekin and gently drop into the pan. Cook until whites are cooked and yolk is still runny - about 3 - 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain  on a clean kitchen towel.

In a large pan ( large enough to fit all of the spaghetti squash ) saute bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Drain off most of the bacon fat. Add the onions and saute until tender. Add the garlic and chili flakes, cook about one minute. Add the cooled spaghetti squash, reserved bacon and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Toss around in the pan for a few minutes, until the spaghetti squash is hot and any excess liquid has evaporated. Right before serving toss with Parmigiano  or Pecorino Romano cheese. Top each serving with a poached egg and additional cheese.

Tags: Low-Carb, Spaghetti Squash, Carbonara, Eggs

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