My goal was to make this as easy as possible without sacrificing flavor or adding things that are no-no’s (sorry, no parmesan to be found here). The only real deconstructed element is the poached egg in place of scrambled–it works, people!
I’m a fan of runny eggs, but the whole raw-scrambled egg sauce that allegedly cooks from the heat of the pasta has me kinda squeamish… no offense. Poaching gives me control over the doneness of the egg, so I know those whites are cooked and the yolk is at the ideal creamy texture and temperature.
Spoiler Alert: To send this over the moon, I fry thinly sliced garlic in reserved bacon fat and then toss in the spaghetti squash. Incredible depth of flavor through this step! Be careful though–garlic burns easily. So keep your spaghetti squash close and your tongs closer.
I hope you enjoy this one!
1 spaghetti squash, roasted (harvested strands equal about 3 cups)
1 cup chopped, cooked bacon or pancetta
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 TBSP chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup sliced scallions or shallots
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup bacon (or pancetta) fat
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 to 6 poached eggs (one or two per person)
Garnish with chia seeds, optional
Spaghetti squash – Slice lengthwise down the center, remove seeds and roast cut-side down for 40 minutes at 375°F (190°C). Flip cut-side up when roasting is complete and allow to cool slightly before harvesting strands with a fork by scraping with the grain until the squash is cleaned. Set aside for later. Allow to drain, if possible.
Bacon or pancetta – If using pancetta, cut into small cubes. If using sliced bacon, just cook as is. Brown the meat in a sauté pan, set aside to drain and reserve the fat in a separate container. Chop the bacon into bite-sized bits and set aside.
Poached eggs – Bring acidulated water to a simmer in a deep sauté pan or standard sauce pan. I used white vinegar in my water; one teaspoon of vinegar for every cup of water (thank you, Alton Brown). Working with one egg at a time, crack it into a small bowl or ramekin. Create a whirlpool in the simmering water and gently slide the egg into the center of it. Allow the egg to poach for 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Place on a paper towel to drain the liquid from the egg.
To bring together the Carbonara - Chop the flat-leaf parsley, slice the scallions or shallots and the garlic.
In a clean sauté pan, heat the reserved quarter cup of bacon fat at medium-high heat. When it has come to temp, place the thinly sliced garlic into the fat and gently stir. Garlic burns very easy, so be attentive at this step. As soon as the garlic has some color, reduce the heat to medium and add the spaghetti squash, tossing together right away. Moving quickly will save your garlic and create unique flavor to your pasta.
And FYI – Few things smell better than garlic fried in bacon fat.
Once the spaghetti squash is coated in fat and garlic, add in the teaspoon of white wine vinegar, chopped bacon, scallion or shallots and the parsley. Toss to combine and let simmer for just a few minutes more.
To serve, place desired amount of spaghetti squash on a plate. Top with any extra bacon bits, scallions, parsley and one (or two) of the reserved poached eggs. I like to add a little bit of Celtic sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper at this point as well. I also decided to garnish with a bit of chia seeds — the color is great and they are so good for you! But if you don’t have any on hand, no worries.
Break open the yolk to create a silky, rich sauce for your Paleo Carbonara and dig in!
If you would like to dedicate a little more time to preparing this, I suggest using Paleo Cupboard’s Paleo Pasta in place of the squash. Talk about a decadent treat!
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A few kitchen tools help this recipe come together: a roasting pan and a good knife for getting the spaghetti squash knocked out, a large skillet for sautéing, and a slotted spoon or spider for poaching the eggs.