I don’t know if it’s a good thing when someone calls your pasta a salad, but I’ll go with it.
Don’t get me wrong because there is nothing wrong with pasta. As you guys know I am a firm believer in pasta…any day, anytime. But I love loading it up with veggies! Hence, I see Monday as the perfect day for a healthier take on everyone’s favorite Italian pasta dish, carbonara. This pasta is creamy, cheesy, and loaded with squash which I am whole heartedly obsessed with…
I’ve been dying to tell you guys about this recipe for so long now. Or okay, not so long, more like a couple of weeks, but I am just so excited about this recipe because it’s all of my favorite things.
For real though, this is the ultimate fall carbonara! Some of you might be questioning that delicate squash and asking yourself what that heck is that, but trust me, it’s so delicious, and perfect atop this creamy, cheesy carbonara! Also you might be wondering what the heck coconut bacon is and, let me tell you, it might be my favorite bacon alternative. It’s crispy, smokey, savory, and all around delicious. HOT DAMN. Enter this pasta! It’s simple, colorful and so delicious…plus I just love how festive the squash makes it…can’t get enough.
What I love most about this pasta, well aside from its deliciousness, is that it’s great as an easy weeknight dinner, but also good for serving a crowd at your next holiday party. Picture this… it’s Saturday night and there’s an unexpected knock at the door. It’s your friends stopping in to say hi… just before dinner time. Ahh, yikes!!
I don’t know about you guys, but this happens to me all the time. Ok, ok, so here’s the deal. I know that everyone is understandably consumed by all things Halloween right now, but my brain is straight onto Thanksgiving. Technically it’s fall and I mean, we still need to eat things besides candy, so I think it is ok! We are just on the cusp of the holidays and the months of November and December are pretty busy at my house with out-of-town friends and family randomly showing up at any given time. Therefore, I try my best to always have the ingredients for a great pasta dish on hand and ready to throw together.
Anyone else with me here or what?
Start the recipe off by roasting up some winter squash and making some of my coconut bacon. It’s the same recipe as here and, y’all, I would advise making a double batch and saving it to sprinkle on anything. Yes, you heard me right! Even just coconut bacon and squash sounds ideal!
But while the squash and bacon may be great on its own (hello potential Thanksgiving side dish…just sayin’), it’s even better atop of this pasta (pasta makes everything better!)
The carbonara itself is just like most carbonara recipes, but with the addition of zoodles and tons of arugula, which you know I cannot get enough of. The combo of creamy pasta, to all the greens, then topped with that squash is honestly one for the books.
Yep, the ultimate fall carbonara!
- 4 cups large flaked coconut
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or coconut aminos/tamari if GF)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons smoked sea salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1-2 delicata squash(es), sliced
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- salt + pepper
- 1-2 springs fresh sage, leaves chopped finely
- 1/2 pound long cut pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine
- 2-3 zucchinis, spiralized (or 1/2 lb more of pasta)
- 1/4 cup coconut bacon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch crushed red pepper flake
- 3 eggs
- 1/2-3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together avocado oil, maple syrup, soy sauce, paprika, sea salt, and pepper. Add coconut flakes and toss to combine, making sure not to break up the flakes too much. Arrange on a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, lightly stirring the coconut halfway through. The bacon should be deep brown and lightly crispy on the edges. If it does not seem crispy now, it will crisp as It cools. The bacon can be made ahead of time and stored in a Ziploc bag
preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone mat. Place the squash in a single layer on one to two baking sheets. Drizzle with melted coconut oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast until tender and browned in spots, approximately 30 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve approximately 1/2 cup of pasta water. Then, drain the pasta well.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to warm, then add garlic, chopped sage, and red pepper flake. Saute for around 1-2 minutes until the garlic is browned, but not totally black. Add the cooked and drained pasta into the skillet and toss in the garlic oil. Add spiralized zucchini and coconut bacon and toss until combined.
In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and the parmesan cheese. Remove the pan of pasta from the heat. Add the egg mixture and constantly toss in the hot pasta until it forms a sauce. If you do not toss, it will become scrambled eggs. Thin the sauce with the pasta water until it reaches your desired consistency. Season with additional salt + pepper. Top with fresh parsley. EAT
Fall, you so get me