Beer-Butt Chicken

Rick Cooks Home Baked Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Pasta carbonara is a wonderful, hearty pasta dish, but is loaded with carbohydrates. Here is a version that replaces the pasta with spaghetti squash.

Lots of versions of this recipe finish the dish in the skillet like conventional carbonara: heating the spaghetti squash strands in the pan used to cook the bacon, removing the pan from the heat, then adding the egg/cheese mixture. But this dish lends itself nicely to a casserole, and for this reason has extra eggs and cream, and ricotta, which adds to its creaminess and goodness.

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Baked Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

*10 servings*

1 3-lb spaghetti squash
10 oz bacon (10 thick or 12 regular slices), diced (may substitute pancetta) 1 medium yellow onion, diced (may substitute leeks or scallions) 1 T garlic, crushed
4 large egg yolk plus 2 whole eggs
1/4 c ricotta cheese
1/2 c heavy cream
1 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, or mix of Parmesan and pecorino, divided 1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 t salt
1 t black pepper

Heat the oven to 350°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp chef's knife. Scrape out the seeds and seed flesh with a spoon and discard. Season lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Place the squash cut side down in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and roast for 45 minutes or until tender.

In a heavy skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until the edges crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Pour off some of the fat and reserve. Add the onions to the fat and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown. Add garlic and saute 30 sec until fragrant. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs, then whisk in the ricotta and cream. Fold in the cooked bacon and onions, then 1 cup of grated cheese and the salt and pepper.

When the squash can be easily pierced with a fork, remove it from the oven and turn the heat up to 375°F. Remove the squash from the baking dish and let it cool slightly. Grease the baking dish with some of the reserved bacon fat.

Shred the inside of the squash with a fork into spaghetti-like strings and remove from the outer shell. You should have approximately 6 cups. Mix the squash strings into the egg and onion mixture. Spread in the baking dish and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

Make-Ahead: At this point you can cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.

Bake for 30 minutes or until firm and golden on top.