Sunday, November 27, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

We are always looking for ways to get more veggies into our kids, and noodle form is one of the easiest.  It's hard to pick things out of noodles, and when you say "spaghetti" in any sentence, there is an automatic acceptance.  Kind of like in Chinese restaurants as a kid, when I would hear the waitresses describe potstickers to other customers as "Chinese hamburgers,"  not that any of my kids or anyone in my family has ever had any problem devouring potstickers, Chinese dumplings, or any other form of "Chinese hamburger." I'm not sure I want to divulge the total number of dumplings that I or either of my siblings can eat in one sitting. I'm also fairly certain that my husband had a certain minimum number that he also had to consume in one sitting in order to be considered "suitable for marriage." But I digress... this is about spaghetti squash and fake, yummy noodles.
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara Trio
I wanted to keep this meal high in nutrients, but still get a nice huge plate of noodles.  Enter player 1: spaghetti squash.  I also a trusty zucchini on hand, so enter player 2. I love zucchini noodles, and strongly feel that we have not yet, as a society, explored the extent of their possibilities. And, I also like to add at least some pasta to trick my brain into thinking it's all pasta.  Plus, it's easier on the kids who can sometimes be suspicious of a plate of just zucchini noodles, and what's one more pot.  If you want to simplify things, leave out one of the noodles, but we enjoyed the trio.

1 spaghetti squash
1/2 package whole wheat spaghetti noodles
1 small zucchini
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
salt and pepper
1/4 c feta cheese (or parmesan cheese)
4 oz cubed pancetta, or 6 slices turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and bake with rind side up in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides with a fork and set aside.  In the meantime, boil lightly salted water and cook the spaghetti noodles.  Drain, reserving a cup or two of the pasta water. Using a lemon zester, zest the entire zucchini so that it also is noodle-like in appearance.  Set aside.  Break two eggs into a bowl, and whisk with a fork.  Add half of the feta or parmesan cheese.

In a large saute pan or wok on medium high heat, cook the pancetta until crispy.  Add garlic once the pancetta starts to sizzle. Add the zucchini noodles, followed by the cooked spaghetti noodles.  Salt and pepper to taste. Stir, and then add spaghetti squash.  Once everything is hot, turn the heat off and add the egg mixture, stirring and tossing constantly so that the eggs don't scramble. Tongs are great for this.  Add in the parsley or cilantro, and the rest of the cheese, and serve immediately.

Please leave any comments or suggestions!

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