Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
Pairs Well With
6 cups, approximately, roasted spaghetti squash, hot (see note in directions)
6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch wide crosswise strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 large eggs at room temperature
6 ounces grated cheese, such as Vella Mezzo Secco (editor’s note: or a blend of Parmegiano Reggiano and other mild semi-hard cheeses)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
— Kosher salt — Black pepper in a mill
Prepare the spaghetti squash if you have not already done so (see following). Set it aside and keep it hot.
Put the bacon into a medium sauté pan set over medium heat and cook, turning now and then, until almost but not quite crisp. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat, add the garlic, cook for 1 minute more, and remove from the heat.
Put the eggs into a warmed large bowl and whisk until very smooth. Fold in the cheese and a very generous amount of black pepper. Fold in the bacon mixture and half the Italian parsley.
Warm soup plates and set them on a clean work surface. Tip the hot spaghetti squash into the bowl and use two forks to lift and turn it until is evenly coated. Taste, correct for salt, and divide among the warmed soup plates.
Add several turns of black pepper to each portion, garnish with the remaining parsley, and enjoy right away.
Note: Michele actually steams her spaghetti squash or roasts it but I made it this way as I prefer my squash to have some caramelization. Cut it in half lengthwise and clean out seeds, sprinkle with olive oil and set on a sheet pan cut side down and bake at 375 degrees until tender but not mushy, about 40-50 minutes.
Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven, let cool until easy to handle, and use a fork to scrape the flesh in long strokes; it will pretty much shred itself.
Michele's Variation: If you want to gild the lily, top each serving with an egg poached for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Set the egg on top of the carbonara and season it with salt before adding the final garnish of black pepper and parsley.
Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date, including "Pasta Classics," published by the Cooking Club of America. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org