spaghetti squash carbonara
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

This spaghetti squash carbonara is an easy mid-week meal that is lighter than it's traditional Italian inspiration, as it uses spaghetti squash flesh as a vehicle for the creamy sauce rather than pasta. The squash soaks up the creaminess and umami-packed flavor of the sauce, thanks to the bacon and parmesan cheese, but the overall dish remains light and approachable. Enjoy with a bright lager ale or a Sauvignon Blanc. 

  • Spaghetti squash (one large whole squash)

  • Whole eggs (2 large eggs)

  • Parmesan cheese (1 cup)

  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Ground black pepper (1/4 teaspoon)

  • Butter (1 tablespoon)

  • Minced garlic (2 teaspoons)

  • Red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Bacon or pancetta, roughly chopped (1/2 cup)

  • Heavy cream (3/4 cup)

  • Parsley (1/3 cup, finely chopped)

  • Green peas (1/2 cup, thawed from frozen)

  • Shredded mozzarella (1/4 cup)

  • Green onions (1/3 cup, finely sliced), for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Line a shallow baking dish with aluminum foil.

  3. On a cutting board using a large knife, cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Season the inside of both squash halves with salt and pepper.

  4. Place the squash halves flesh side down in the baking dish. Add a cup of water to the bottom of the baking dish, which will help to moisten the squash as it bakes.

  5. Bake the squash for approximately 30 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce through the exterior skin.

  6. When the squash is cooked through, remove from the oven and place on a cutting board to let cool. 

  7. When the squash is cool enough to handle by hand, use a large fork to loosen the squash flesh and remove from the shells into a mixing bowl. Place the shells back in the shallow baking dish after discarding the water.

  8. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the two whole eggs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. The mixture will be very grainy and yellow, and will later be added to your sauce as a thickener. 

  9. Place a large skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bacon or pancetta. Using a wooden spoon, mix together until bacon or pancetta is cooked through and begins to get crispy. 

  10. Add the heavy cream, parsley, and green peas to the skillet to create a creamy sauce. Continue to heat over low heat until all ingredients are evenly mixed and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. 

  11. Add the spaghetti squash flesh that you had set aside to the skillet, along with the parmesan and egg mixture. Mix all ingredients together until the squash is well-coated in the sauce.

  12. Turn off the heat. Using large tongs, divide the squash and sauce mixture between the two squash shells in your shallow baking dish.

  13. Top each squash half with shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil the squash halves in the oven for approximately 5 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and crispy.

  14. Remove from the oven and garnish with sliced green onions.