Poor Man's Food was the ultimate easy dish -- throw some stuff in a pan and saute until done. Serve with ketchup. But the Carbonara dish made me feel like I could actually cook -- it was spaghetti with sauteed onions and bacon tossed in a cream sauce made from egg yolks and heavy cream. I considered it a tasty heart attack on the plate; yes, this when I still believed eggs and cream were what caused heart attacks. I also enjoyed making Carbonara because it was an authentic Italian dish I learned from my mother when we lived in Italy (I was a military brat).
At any rate, Carbonara is a dish I missed after going Paleo -- no more spaghetti, no more heavy cream. But I really wanted to make a Paleo version of Spaghetti Carbonara. Really bad.
And here's what I got: Spaghetti Squash alla Carbonara (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free). Even without the spaghetti noodles and heavy cream, this dish is filling and satisfying with a rich, creamy sauce.
Spaghetti Squash alla Carbonara
1 medium spaghetti squash, about 2 1/2 lbs
1/2 lb bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 8 slices)
1 small onion, diced
2 small heads of broccoli, chopped medium (about 2-3 cups)
1/4 cup water
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 egg yolks*
1 1/2 cups coconut milk, full-fat*
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise, place face down on a rimmed baking sheet or glass dish and add enough water to come up about 1/2-inch up the sides of the squash. Bake for about an hour until tender. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then use a fork to remove the inside of the squash. Set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until just starting to turn brown. Then add onions and sautee until bacon is crispy and onions are nicely browned.
3. Add broccoli to the skillet, saute and stir for a couple of minutes. Pour water into skillet and cover. Cook until broccoli is tender, about 4-5 minutes. Remove lid and allow any extra water to evaporate. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and coconut milk. Pour into skillet and stir until heated through and thickened, about 1 minute.
5. Remove skillet from the heat. Toss spaghetti squash in the skillet to coat. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
*To make this dish egg-free, omit egg yolks and only add 1 1/4 cups coconut milk.