Hey, I have absolutely nothing against pasta, but sometimes it is nice to lighten things up a bit.
A simple truth: spaghetti squash will never be pasta. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious. Especially when you don’t have to sacrifice the cheesy, creamy goodness with crispy, garlicky pancetta of a traditional carbonara.
We have been trying out (and loving) Farmhouse Delivery lately and various squashes keep arriving this summer season and inspiring new dishes and recipes like this one I hope to share with you. Enjoy this lighter take on an Italian favorite and hope you’re having a great summer so far!
SPAGHETTI SQUASH CARBONARA WITH SWEET GREEN PEAS
- Yields: 2-3 servings
For the spaghetti squash:
- 1 large spaghetti squash (or two small ones) *approx. 2-2.5 lbs total
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the rest:
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving, if desired)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 oz. pancetta, cubed
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream *I used whole milk since we had it on hand
- 1 cup frozen sweet green peas
- handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- For the spaghetti squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, cut your squash in half crosswise and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Brush on the olive oil to the cut side and sprinkle with sea salt & pepper. On a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, place the squash cut side-down and roast for 30-35 minutes until you can pierce the squash easily with a fork. Set aside to cool for a bit. Once the flesh is cool enough to handle, flip the squash cut-side up and use a fork to scrape out the “strands” of spaghetti squash into a large bowl. Repeat until all the insides have been scooped out. Discard the outer flesh.
- For the carbonara sauce: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, egg yolk, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
- For the rest: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add your butter and cubed pancetta. Allow its fat to render and crisp up for 5-6 minutes. Then add in your minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 1-2 more minutes not allowing your garlic to burn. Stir in your heavy cream (or whole milk) and frozen green peas (the heat from the sauce will defrost them quickly) and scrape up any crispy pork bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring it up to a low boil and add in your spaghetti squash strands and bowl of the Parmesan mixture. Toss everything together until well-coated. Taste and adjust salt & pepper accordingly. Sprinkle chopped parsley over everything and serve immediately.