As you probably know by now, I’m Italian and I LOVE pasta! Carbonara is one of my favorite sauces. I make it all the time because the main ingredients are pasta, bacon and eggs, all of which I always have on hand. A few years ago, I started making carbonara a little differently. Instead of using eggs, I use cream and I add in leeks, garlic and thyme. I find that the sauce is just creamier than it is when using eggs and I love the flavor that the added veggies and herbs give to the sauce. My favorite type of pasta to serve with this sauce is pappardelle. But when my Husband and I are looking for a low carb healthier option, we serve this sauce with spaghetti squash. It is such a great healthy option for dinner and it’s incredibly filling. This sauce is so yummy, that you won’t even miss the pasta in this recipe.
- 2 medium sized spaghetti squashes
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 10 slices of bacon
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced and washed
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cut each spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds in the center. Drizzle each half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rub the squash so that the inside is fully coated. Place the squash onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cut side down. Then place in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the outside is softened and browned. If you’re using smaller spaghetti squash, start checking around 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
To make the sauce, begin by cutting the bacon into ½ inch pieces. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Put the bacon in the pan and use a wooden spoon to separate the pieces from each other as they cook. Continue to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Then add in the leeks. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until the leeks have softened and begin to brown. Then add in the garlic and cook for another couple minutes. Add in the thyme and 1 tablespoon of butter. Allow the butter to melt and all the ingredients to meld together. Decrease the heat to medium low and add in the heavy cream. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Then season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make the spaghetti squash, use a fork to scrape the squash, creating spaghetti-like strands. Add the spaghetti squash to the pan with the sauce to coat. Top with parmesan cheese and serve.