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Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

February 18, 2019

Spaghetti squash is a vegetable that plays nicely with others, and subbing it for pasta in a carbonara cuts carbs and results in a creamy, satisfying winter meal that’s easy to make.

Serves three to four people. 


1 spaghetti squash, about 2 and 1/2 pounds
olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
2 large egg yolks
5 to 6 ounces pancetta, cut in small dice (You may substitute bacon.)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1/3 cup half-and-half or cream
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped


You may prepare the squash in the microwave, but roasting it cuts down on the moisture and the caramelization adds flavor. Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment. Cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of the squash to stabilize it, then cut the squash in half vertically with a large, sharp knife. Scoop the seeds out with a large spoon and brush the cut surface generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place the squash halves, cut side down, in the pan.

Roast for about 40 minutes, until the skin begins to brown and the squash can be pierced easily with a fork. Turn cut side up, scoop the insides out with a large spoon into a bowl, and fluff up the strands with a fork. If there is any excess moisture, blot with a paper towel.

While the squash bakes, in a medium bowl mix together the parmesan, egg yolks and a dash each of salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant. 

Stir in the half-and-half and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the squash, stirring to coat.

Add the parmesan mixture to the skillet and stir in, creating a creamy sauce. Stir in most of the parsley, reserving a little for garnish. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning.

Serve the carbonara in bowls, garnished with extra parmesan and a sprinkling of parsley. Superb with a crisp green salad and toasty garlic bread.