Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spaghetti Squash the Fat Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

In honor of Leap Day, I thought I would celebrate with something a little unusual.  Spaghetti Squash Carbonara.  Traditionally, this classic italian dish is typically made by smothering fettuchinne pasta with a rich sauce made from bacon/pancetta, egg yolks, butter, and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. According to, the Cheesecake Factory's Pasta Carbonara with Chicken was voted one of the unhealthiest restuarant meals in America.  The dish weighed in with 85g of artery-clogging saturated fat! Another example is the Olive Garden's Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara, which has:
1,440 calories
3,000 mg of sodium
88 g of fat
38 g of saturated fat.

My dish adds fiber and nutrients while drastically slashing the fat content. It replaces pasta with spaghetti squash, removes the egg yolks completely, adds healthy nuts to keep things interesting, and and replaces fatty pancetta with  turkey bacon.

Spaghetti squash contains omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3's help prevent heart disease, cancer and inflammation.  Omega 6 fatty acids promotes brain function. In addition to being rich in fatty acids, spaghetti squash is also rich in beta carotene, which is beneficial for people with insulent resistance.  Some studies are now revealing that spaghetti squash is good for prostate health as well.

Walnuts help reduce problems in metabolic syndrome (high blood fats, high blood pressure, inadequate HDL cholesterol, and obesity), host a variety of anti-cancer benefits, and contain Omega-3 fally acids.

1/2 spaghetti squash
canola oil cooking spray
2 slices turkey bacon
1/4 medium white onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 T walnut halves, chopped
2 T parmesan cheese
dash of pepper, salt, red pepper flakes
1 T fat free milk (optional)
aluminum foil


Preheat oven to 400.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half (use some elbow grease, kids!), and remove the seeds. Lightly coat the cut side with the cooking spray.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Lay squash, cut side down, on the tray. Roast for 20-25 minutes.  Turn the squash over (cut side up), and roast another 20 minutes.

Shred squash and set aside.

Meanwhile, slice bacon and onion.  Sautee in a skillet over medium heat until bacon is crisp, and onion is translucent.

Add garlic and additional seasonings (red pepper flakes, salt, pepper).

In a smaller skillet, lightly dry toast walnuts (no oil in pan). Be careful not to burn!

Chop walnuts and add half into the skillet.  Add squash into skillet and mix all ingredients together.

If you like your "pasta" to be creamier, add the 1 T of milk and stir.  If not, leave it out!

Add 1/2 parmesan cheese. Mix and remove from heat.

Place "pasta" on plate, or serve it in the squash "shell."  Top with remaining walnuts and parmesan cheese. Serve & enjoy!

Serves 1

WW information
4 pt+

Inspired by Health-Bent's Primal Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

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