Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

It is now officially SUMMER and I am living for it.

Normally, autumn is my favorite season. Being from New England, autumn to me is the perfect weather to start wearing comfy clothes and sweaters, drink hot mulled beverages, watch football (or eat all the snacks at the party while everyone else is watching), pick apples and just go for a drive to look at all the leaves.

If you aren’t from New England, we call tourists who comes to see the tree colors change “leaf peepers”. It’s a very exclusive club to not be a leaf peeper.

But here in San Diego, summer is truly my favorite season. It’s never too hot or humid (compared to the 98 degrees and so much humidity you feel like you’re swimming sort of summer weather I’m used to in New England), everyone is out and about and happy and there are loads of places to eat and drink with outdoor seating that welcome dogs. I mean, how can you not be happy about seeing a bunch of dogs everywhere?

The one thing I don’t like about summer, though, is the pressure to ditch heavier hot meals until it starts to get cold again. I mean, just because it’s warm out doesn’t mean I should need to trade in a giant bowl of macaroni and cheese for some grilled romaine hearts (though I could if I wanted).

So maybe what we need is a little compromise. A little bit of heavy, indulgent more “winter” meal with something more on the healthy side.

Like spaghetti squash carbonara. It’s all the indulgent cheesy goodness of carbonara, with the parmesan and egg yolk sauce and bits of bacon (I’m almost drooling just thinking about it now), but with the healthier alternative of spaghetti squash instead of regular pasta.

The squash does take a while to cook, so if you know you’re planning to make this recipe, maybe make the squash the day before so you aren’t left waiting until 8 at night for it to cool down and cut. Just scoop the spaghetti into a container and let sit in the fridge overnight until you’re ready to use it the next day.

1 large spaghetti squash
6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
4 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup frozen peas

20-cup Digital Multicooker with Sauté-Then-Simmer STS® (reduce the ingredients for smaller cookers)
6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

1. Preheat your oven to 375℉.
2. Poke the squash all over with a fork, making sure the prongs go through the flesh to the inside.
3. Place the squash directly into the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. If you prefer your spaghetti squash a little crunchier, only bake for 1 hour.
4. When it’s done, use oven mitts to remove from the oven and place directly onto a cutting board.
5. Let it cool for about an hour. After an hour, cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and shred the spaghetti part with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
6. Set the cooker for Sauté-Then-Simmer STS® and let heat briefly with the lid closed.
7. Add the bacon pieces and cook until crispy while stirring frequently with a long handled wooden or heat-safe spoon.
8. When the bacon is cooked and crispy, add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute while stirring until it becomes fragrant.
9. Add the broth and cook until the liquid has completely evaporated.
10. While the broth is cooking, in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs, and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
11. When the broth has absorbed, add in the frozen peas. Cook for just a minute or two until thawed, then switch the cooker to Keep Warm.
12. After switching the cooker to Keep Warm, add in the egg mixture. Stir well without letting the eggs cook, enough to incorporate the eggs, peas, and bacon.
13. Add in the spaghetti squash and toss thoroughly to combine. Tongs are useful for making sure that all of the squash is coated in the sauce.
14. Serve immediately with additional parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper.

Recipe inspiration from Hugs & Cookies xoxo

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