Paleo Bacon Carbonara

If you don’t love spaghetti squash, you will after you try this recipe!!!  I fell in LOVE with it about a year ago when I went Paleo.  I tried it out for the first time when I was craving pasta one day and decided to use spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta.  The beautiful thing about spaghetti squash is that it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook with it.  I’ve drizzled olive oil, salt, and pepper on it… I’ve topped it with a marinara and meatballs… I’ve used it with Picadillo instead of rice… And tonight… I used it in a new bacon carbonara dish!

Here are a few health benefits for spaghetti squash:

It’s highly rich in beta carotene.

It contains omega 3 fatty acids… which help prevent heart disease.

Lots of potassium.

The folate contained in it helps prevent birth defects.

It’s a great source of vitamin C and A.

And my favorite thing of all is that it only has 40 calories per cup and it has ZERO fat grams in it!!

Now for this scrumptious recipe!  It isn’t 100% PALEO… Only because I used a tbsp or so of AP flour and I added a tiny bit of fresh Parmesan as a garnish.  Everything in moderation!  Who wants Carbonara with no cheese?!  By all means, use whatever you want to thicken the sauce you’re about to make.

spaghetti squash2

 

What you’re going to need:

1 large or 2 small spaghetti squash, cut open, seeded, and baked

1 package beef or pork bacon, chopped and cooked

1/2 onion, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 tbsp fresh herbs (I used Thyme, Oregano, and Basil), chopped

1-2 tbsp flour

1 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 – 2 cups beef stock

salt and pepper to taste

a dash of cayenne

1 tbsp honey

2-3 tbsp fresh Parmesan, grated

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.

2.  Get your muscles out and cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise!  Scoop out all of the seeds and discard.  Spray a sheet pan with nonstick spray and lay squash seed-side down.  Bake for 45 minutes.

4 squash

3.  While the spaghetti squash bakes, start frying the bacon.   I cut the bacon with kitchen sheers and fried it in a cast iron skillet.  When the bacon is cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove bacon pieces on to a plate.  (I put a paper towel over the plate to let the grease drain off the bacon.)

bacon2

4.  Reserve 2 tbsp of bacon fat and saute the garlic and onion until translucent in the same cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.  Once translucent, add a tbsp of flour.  Stir and let the flour cook for a minute or two – create a roux… then add beef stock.  Whisk immediately.   Sauce will thicken quickly.  Bring it to a boil for 5 minutes, then add coconut milk.  Simmer the sauce at this point and add fresh herbs (save a little for a garnish), salt, pepper, honey, and cayenne.  If your sauce gets too thick, add a little more stock.  TASTE it and make sure it has plenty of seasoning.

sauce

5.  Once your squash comes out of the oven, let it cool for a couple of minutes.  Using a fork, start scrapping the inside of the squash into a bowl.

done squash     scrapping squash

6.  Pour sauce over squash, add most of your bacon (I saved some for a garnish), and mix together using tongs.  Serve it up on a pretty plate and top with a sprinkle of bacon, herbs, and fresh Parmesan.

finished carbonara2     spag squash with wine

 

 

 

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