Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara {PALEO}

Confession:  My mind is not so amazingly creative that I invent every recipe for every meal we ever eat.  Sometimes I get crazy and just wing our meal, sometimes I take a classic recipe and make it paleo, sometimes I come up with something fresh and sometimes I take someone else’s recipe and run with it.  If I make it more than once, that means it’s good.  If I make it three times it’s worth sharing as is the case with this Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara from Popular Paleo.  The recipe takes a bit of time to bring together, but it’s definitely worth the effort.  So without further ado:

Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Deconstructed Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: active time: 15-20 minutes, cook time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, roasted (harvested strands equal about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup cooked bacon or pancetta, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced (I usually dice them, old habit, I guess.)
  • 1 Tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallions or shallots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup bacon (or pancetta) fat
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 poached eggs (one or two per person)

Directions:

  1. Roast that squash.  This is something I do in the morning before I get the kids off to school.  Pre-heat your oven to 375 F.  Slice the squash length-wise down the middle and place it on a rimmed cookie sheet cut side down.  I poke holes in the outside of the squash.  I’m not sure if that step is essential, but it provides a little release when smoothie has been spilled all over the floor you just mopped and you’re rushing to get lunches made.  Okay, place the squash in the oven for about 40 minutes or until it’s soft.  Let it cool, then harvest the squash working with the grain.  Take that goodness, put it in a colander over a bowl and let drain all day.  If you don’t prep the squash ahead of time, don’t worry, but do try to let it drain for any amount of time you have.
  2. Next cook the bacon or pancetta.  If you are using bacon, cook normally, let it cool then chop it up and put it aside.  If you are using pancetta and it’s not already cubed, cube it then cook it in a sauté pan until crispy, set aside.  Save the fat.  You’re going to use it to cook the garlic and squash.
  3. Poached eggs are next.  Fill a small pot with water, measure how much water you are using then add a teaspoon of white vinegar for every cup.  Bring the water to a boil.  Using a whisk, stir the rapidly boiling water to create a whirlpool of sorts, then ever so gently slide one egg into the pot.  If “ever so gently” isn’t really your style, I recommend using a ramekin or small bowl that you can slide into the water, that way you don’t have to worry about getting the egg out of the shell AND being gentle.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg and place it on a paper towel lined plate.  Repeat until you’ve poached all the eggs you need.
  4. To bring the dish together heat your reserved bacon or pancetta fat in a large skillet to medium high temperature.  Add the chopped garlic.  Pay attention so that the garlic doesn’t burn, burned garlic is not so great.  Once the garlic has a little color reduce the heat to medium.  Add the spaghetti squash and give it a good stir, coating it in fatty garlicky deliciousness.  Stir in the scallions or shallots and the parsley, add the vinegar and bacon or pancetta.  Let the flavors come together in the skillet for a minute or two then turn off the burner.
  5. To serve, place the squash mixture on a plate, top with a poached egg, salt and pepper.  Garnish with extra parsley.  Enjoy!

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