Mock Fettuccine Carbonara

This great recipe is from George Stella.  I am a big fan of spaghetti squash so I love this Italian dish.  Yield: 4 servings.  Net Carbs: 8 grams per serving. (I doubled this recipe for my family of 4.)

• 1 medium spaghetti squash (this recipe uses only half of squash, but I used entire squash)

CARBONARA SAUCE:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced Parma ham (you may also use prosciutto, baked ham, cooked ham or turkey ham)
  • 1/2 cup small broccoli florets, lightly blanched
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
  • Grape tomatoes, halved, for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the squash lengthwise in half.  Scoop out the seeds of one half with a spoon.  Refrigerate the other half for another meal (unless you are doubling this recipe).
  2. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a full boil.  Completely submerge the squash half (or both halves) in the boiling water and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes (or longer if cooking both halves), until you can pierce the inside easily with a fork and the pulp pulls apart in strands.
  3. Remove, drain and plunge the squash half in a pot of cold water or an ice bath to stop the cooking.  when the squash is cool, drain and dry it, then use a fork to scrape the cooked squash out of its skin, fluffing and separating the pulp into spaghetti-like strands.  Discard the skin.
  4. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil.  While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the carbonara sauce:  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high-heat.  Add the ham and sauté for about 1 minute.  Whisk in the cream and egg yolk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.  Add the garlic and cheese and whisk quickly just to heat through.  Remove from the heat and stir in the rest of the butter and the parsley.
  5. Right before serving, place the squash strands in a strainer and dip briefly into the pot of boiling water to reheat.  Remove and shake off any excess water.
  6. Put the hot spaghetti squash on a serving platter.  Toss with the carbonara sauce or pour the sauce over the top.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with fresh basil leaves and grape tomatoes before serving.
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