Healthy Pasta-Free Carbonara

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While on our honeymoon to Italy a few years ago my husband fell in love with spaghetti alla carbonara.  A delicious and surprisingly simple concoction of pancetta, eggs, black pepper, and parmesan cheese.  After making the champagne cupcakes the other day I had a lot of egg yolks sitting around and needed a plan to use them up.  I also had a half of a spaghetti squash that I couldn’t let go to waste.  To make it a little healthier and add some color, I threw in the spinach.  These proportions and directions are just what I came up with based on what I have after looking at a few basic recipes online.  It couldn’t have turned out better, truly amazing.  My only mistake was not making more than two servings.

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Ingredients:

1/2 large Spaghetti Squash, roasted
5 strips of thick cut Bacon, diced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 handfuls of Baby Spinach
2 egg yolks
1 egg
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp black pepper

Directions:

(I had a spaghetti squash that was already roasted, if you have to roast the squash still you need to do this first.  Half the squash and scrape out seeds.  Lightly spray with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Roast at 400 for 45-60 minutes.)

1. In a heavy skillet on medium heat cook the diced bacon.  I used an apple-wood smoked bacon, so flavorful!  When fully cooked turn heat to low and add the minced garlic, stir to avoid burning about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and toss in spinach until wilted.  Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

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2. Whisk together egg yolks, egg, parmesan cheese, and black pepper in a small bowl.

3. Here is where it gets a little tricky.  I warmed up the spaghetti squash in the skillet for a few minutes to get it really hot.  The heat from the “pasta” is going to thicken and cook the eggs.  When the squash is hot put it in the large mixing bowl with the bacon and spinach mixture then quickly toss/whisk together with the eggs until creamy.

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4. In my case the spaghetti squash was apparently not quite as warm as a freshly cooked pasta would be, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t serving raw eggs.  I warmed up the skillet on low heat and browned 1/2 Tbsp of butter, then added everything back into the warm skillet for just a few tosses.  Cook the eggs until creamy then remove from heat into mixing bowl.  You want to avoid scrambling the eggs, which is why you typically mix the eggs with everything in a bowl instead of in the skillet over heat.

This extra toss in brown butter not only enhanced the flavor and consistency of the dish, it made it safer to consume ;).  Top with a little parmesan cheese and black pepper before serving.

Enjoy and Eat Well!

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One thought on “Healthy Pasta-Free Carbonara

  1. Jessica I love you’re blog!!! I have been using a different blender for quite sometime but after seeing your recipes and what you have done with the vitamix I finally bit the bullet and bought one. It is amazing!! Thank you for sharing your recipes and I look forward to more vitamix recipes!

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