Easy Spaghetti Squash alla Carbonara Bake2013-01-06
- Cuisine: Italian
- Course: Breakfast, Entree, Side Dish
- Recipe Type: Comfort Food, Easy Entertaining, Gluten Free, Protein
- Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Egg, Pancetta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Spaghetti Squash
As I’ve said before, the point of my website is to provide a collection of recipes that I not only love, but are easy enough that they can be made with minimal effort, and effortless to replicate. I don’t post “failures”… at least not until I’ve turned them into a success.
I don’t rate my recipes by skill level, because I as an amateur chef, I post only things that don’t require specialty skill-sets. In this case, Anne’s recipe was rated intermediate because the creamy sauce, is only egg and cheese. By pouring it over warm spaghetti (in my case spaghetti squash) and pancetta, you run the risk of scrambling the eggs before it can turn into a “cream sauce”. Can you guess where things went wrong?
I already know that my stove runs hot, and I thought I had turned the temperature down enough… but I was wrong. I am familiar with tempering egg before pouring it into something hot, but it didn’t make sense to add piles of spaghetti squash into the egg mixture. As I stirred, I noticed that little bits of egg were forming… PANIC! I quickly turned off the stove and removed the pan from heat, stirring like mad. I announced to Taylor that the dish was a failure, but I didn’t want to throw out so many ingredients.
The verdict? A stroke of genius (in my humble opinion). I grabbed my dutch oven, greased it with coconut oil, and poured the egg mixture inside. I’ve made a ton of crustless quiches in the past… so now we have the Spaghetti Squash alla Carbonara Bake! It now makes this the easiest recipe EVER! I’ve changed the steps to make it even easier. You work with all ingredients at room temperature before you bake it in the oven. The result? A simple, fail-proof meal that has the spot-on flavor of Spaghetti alla Carbonara, without the fussy steps. You could even make this Paleo by eliminating the cheese and adding a cup of coconut milk to the egg mixture instead. The pancetta flavor will still come through and make this a scrumptious play on an old classic… and it can be enjoyed at ANY meal, even breakfast!
A note about spaghetti squash: If you have never used spaghetti squash before, don’t worry! The baking process takes a little bit of time, but it ensures that the squash won’t overcook and lose the beautiful spaghetti quality. You can also microwave it until it is cooked through, but it is easier to over-steam the squash. The most important thing to note is that you must remember to take a knife and poke holes in the squash before you place it in the microwave. I have had a spaghetti squash explode on me, and the clean-up is not fun. The use of spaghetti squash here is perfect; it is hearty enough to be an entree, and makes it gluten free.
Another recipe to try with spaghetti squash, check out Nouna’s Kale Spaghetti turned Paleo.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 12 pieces thinly sliced pancetta, cut into bite sized pieces
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 1/2 pecorino romano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- 2. Rinse spaghetti squash and poke holes all over to release steam
- 3. Place on a paper towel, microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH
- 4. Place spaghetti squash on a parchment paper-lined pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, turning the spaghetti squash over once mid-way
- 5. When cool enough to touch, cut spaghetti squash in half and remove dark yellow squash that contains seeds
- 6. Turn down oven to 350 degrees
- 7. Heat coconut oil in large nonstick pan over medium heat
- 8. Add pancetta to the hot pan, and cook until it starts to color and become crisp
- 9. Turn off heat and reserve
- 10. Crack 8 eggs into a large bowl and beat until texture and color is consistent
- 11. Grate a 1/2 cup fresh pecorino and 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano, and mix well into egg
- 12. Season egg mixture with cracked black pepper, to taste
- 13. Using a fork, scrape strands of squash into pan with pancetta, toss welll
- 14. When pancetta and spaghetti squash is around room temperature, pour egg mixture into pan
- 15. With tongs, incorporate egg mixture throughout squash
- 16. Meanwhile, grease a dutch oven or round casserole dish with coconut oil
- 17. Pour egg mixture into baking dish
- 18. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until top is completely set
- 19. Slice and serve with diced scallions
- 20. Enjoy!