Although elaborate dishes can be fun because they are a feat, I don't really know anyone who dislikes complex flavors in a fairly easy dish. This "pasta" is for those nights where you are totally swamped with papers (me for the past 5 years), super done from a rough day at work (me for the next five years), or when your tastebuds just need a little TLC.
This is not your typical carbonara. I hesitate to even call it a full carbonara because of the lack of guanciale or yeast-based pasta, but it is a yummy take on an Italian-American classic. I chose to go with spaghetti squash rather than spaghetti because my body just doesn't need all of those carbs, but it tastes delicious either way.
The great part is, you probably have most of these items in your fridge. If not, they are super inexpensive (yes, even in Manhattan), and this makes quite a bit of food.
I liked a bit more broth on my "pasta" because it is not really pasta. Definitely helped to balance out the flavor, and I am 100% certain it would taste delicious soaked on bread.
Word to the wise: do NOT be afraid of spaghetti squash. To you avid Pinterest users, I am sure that warranted a "duh," but there are many out there who still have not learned the ways of this oblong vegetable. Get past the fact that it is a squash, do not expect it to taste like regular pasta, and be prepared to be stunned at how well this veggie holds a variety of sauces. You won't be giving up Eataly any time soon, but it is a worthwhile venture! Pinky promise.
What You'll Need (serves 2 with leftovers!):
1 small to medium sized spaghetti squash
5 slices of bacon
2 cups of kale
1 small, sweet onion
1 minced clove of garlic
1/4 cup of chicken broth
1 cup fresh grated parmesan
1-2 tbsp of oregano
1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
Let's get it:
1. Preheat your oven to 375. Line a baking sheet or dish with foil. Take a fork and poke holes in your washed spaghetti squash (allllll over it). You could even take a large knife and make hatch marks. Place it in the oven and put your phone on a timer. 30 minutes into cooking, turn the squash over. Wait another 35 and do the same thing. Wait another 10-15 until it is soft to the touch (but like seriously be careful because it will be hot) and remove from the oven.
2. Once the squash is removed, get a pretty deep sauté pan for the bacon. I like to hold all five pieces together and use kitchen scissors to precut them into smaller pieces. It tends to cook more evenly, but do you. This should be on medium low heat, and I lined the bottom of mine with canola oil (stainless steel is a PAIN IN THE BUTT to clean sometimes).
3. Just before the bacon is finished, place the diced, small onion in the pan.
4. Mince the garlic clove and place it in there as well.
5. Wait a few minutes until the onions start to cook down, and place the kale and chicken broth in with the other ingredients. This is the moment where you hit it with the oregano and red pepper. I use a salt grinder, but definitely put it in to your taste level.
6. Slice the squash longways in half. Scoop out the seeds and start to pull the stringy squash with a fork.
Moment of truth and total transparency: it is not always easy to get all the seeds out. People like to pretend it is. Sometimes, you get a squash that behaves; other times, you get the Jenny Humphrey of squashes who just will not behave even though it is being treated way better than it should be. You are not Rufus, you don't have to pretend like you aren't bothered. It's okay.
7. Once you are finished with the squash, toss all of the "pasta" you'll be using into the pan with your ingredients. Make sure it gets coated with that fabulous flavor!
8. Put half of the shredded parm and an egg in a bowl. Use a fork to whisk them together.
9. Take the "pasta" from the pan and place it in the egg bowl. It is SO important that the pasta is hot because this is what "cooks" the egg and keeps you from getting yourself and other people sick. Know this.
10. Toss it around, and serve it immediately with some extra shredded parm on top. Voila, magic. I definitely sang Future on that one.
Seems like a lot, but it really isn't. Tbh, I did this while I was writing a paper. I'll let you know how that went (lol help), but my dinner was delicious and actually pretty nutritious.
Prosecco goes well with this and my paper writing. Bon appetit!