Spaghetti Squash Chicken Carbonara

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Somehow, the Sicilian fiance and I have found ways to replace pasta with grains and vegetables–mainly spaghetti squash. Sometimes the recipes turn out great, other times the become a bit of a sloppy mess. When I tried chicken carbonara with spaghetti squash, it turned out delicious, almost as if you could not taste a difference. They key is to use it in dishes where spaghetti is not the main emphasis of the dish. Here, the spaghetti squash absorbed the flavor of the Carbonara and provided a bit of a crunch to contrast the texture of the chicken and peas.

The key to a good chicken carbonara is the sauce. If the sauce is creamy, full of garlic, and extra cheesy, you really can’t go wrong with the rest of it. OH, and some tasty pancetta mixed together with peas, chicken, and the spaghetti squash. This is also a carbonara recipe that requires no cream, so it is healthy of course. I cooked the spaghetti squash in the oven–roasted is the best way to do it. While it’s roasting, the rest of the mixture is given time to cook and simmer. Then, all you have to do is mix the spaghetti squash in with the combination, let it simmer, and enjoy!

“Faux-ghetti” Chicken Carbonara

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Friday Fuck Up: The Carbonara Scramble

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My boyfriend couldn’t have been happier. I brought pig into the house. Thinly sliced, smoked pig. Bacon. Bacon. Bacon.

The oven was home to our first usage—bacon baked quickly and at a high temperature for an evenly cooked crisp. We bit at the bacon in between bites of eggs and toast. A simple introduction.

We thought we’d keep it easy. Let bacon flavor an angel hair carbonara.

I looked up a few recipes on Epicurious and understood, well, thought I understood, the gist of a carbonara.

Cook bacon. Remove bacon. Cook onion in its grease. Boil Pasta. Combine parm and egg in separate bowl. Combine hot pasta, onion, bacon and parm-egg mixture. Toss. Creamy deliciousness.

Of course, it wasn’t that simple. My carbonara got fucked.

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100 Ways to Not Cook an Egg?

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Thanks to a little help from readers, we’ve been continuously updating our list of 100 120 ways to cook an egg. Now here’s another one to crack open and throw on the pile: bucatini carbonara. If you’ve ever thought cooking up a pot of pasta and cracking an egg on top was too difficult and not weird enough, then this dish is for you — can you say crack a raw egg on top?

Read the full bucatini carbonara recipe over at Good Bite, and remember to feed us back at us in the comments if you have any more tasty egg-based dishes that should be added to the master egg list.

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Top Ten Things I Ate in Rome

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I asked. You chimed in. I’m back from Rome and I’ve just got to let you know the goods on what I had, including a recap of the dishes that I was most anticipating.

Did everything live up to my sky-high expectations?  Let’s find out.

10. Gelato – I actually took it easy on the gelato.  I only had it twice while I was there…tremendous restraint on my part.  Our first time was at Giolliti, a famous spot, and I had a hazelnut/fior de latte cone and our second was at Della Palma (below) where I had creme caramel/ricotta with fig sauce. Both were delicious, but the thing that really struck me was the overwhelming number of varieties these places had. They made Baskin-Robbins and his 31 flavors look like a punk.  I did a quick guesstimate at Della Palma and came up with more than 85 flavors.  I’m convinced that the majority of the fun involved in the gelato experience comes from the process of choosing which varieties to get.

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9. Zucchini Blossoms – I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get these due to the early season, but after seeing how fantastic they looked in the market at the Campo dei Fiori (below) we ordered them as an appetizer at La Campana, a ristorante just around the corner from our hotel.  Delicate, crunchy, and filled with oozy cheese.  But the best, most flavorful part of the perfectly fried flower was the fact that it was filled with…

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8. Anchovies – Listen, I don’t want to hear that you don’t like anchovies.  And I’m not getting into the canned/tubed conversation because the ones I had in Rome were light years ahead of even the best canned anchovies you can get here.  The anchovies that we had both in the zucchini blossoms and on a pizza were flavorful but surprisingly mellow. I’m now more convinced than ever that people who think they don’t like anchovies just haven’t had good anchovies.

Find out what topped this list and pick up the names of some great restaurants along the way, after the jump.

7. Amatriciana This dish makes the list even though I didn’t order it during my time there.  Of course, I did sample more than my fair share of it off of Mrs. TVFF’s plate (she got it twice), so it’s in. It was quite a bit richer than when I make it, and without the red onions that I typically put in. I asked one of our waiters if the restaurant made it with pancetta or guanciale and he replied quickly and forcefully: “Guanciale…if you want good amatricana, you must use guanciale!” There you go, folks, straight from the expert.  If you’re in NYC, pick some up at Salumeria Biellese, which is where I get mine.

6. Filetti di Baccalà – Fried fish?  Yep, pretty much the same as the fish and chips that you’ll find in the best places in London, but there’s something to be said for simple fried food executed perfectly. It’s just another reminder of how seriously they take their food in Rome…even the glorified bar snacks are inspired.  We got ours as an early-evening snack at a place named, unoriginally, Filetti di Baccalà, located a few blocks away from the Campo dei Fiori, in a bustling part of town that we cut through after a long day of touring churches and walking through Trastevere.

Next: Top 5 Things To Eat in Rome

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Infinito Sobbollire: Anticipating Rome

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Ladies and gents, I’m in dire need of a vacation and, as luck would have it, that’s just what I’ll be doing at the end of this month.  My last two trips to Europe, which took me to Hamburg and London, certainly left me with a few good food memories, but that’s going to pale in comparison after Mrs. TVFF and I head to Rome.  She’s been there a few times (and studied for a summer during college), but it’s my first trip.  We’ll be looking at tons of artwork, visiting important churches and ancient ruins and gorging ourselves on every type of food we can put our hands on.

It’s funny…I plan on walking something like ten miles a day while I’m there, yet I completely expect to gain 5+ pounds. What, exactly, am I looking forward to most?  I’ve got a shortlist of dishes that have my mouth watering already.
5. Gelato – Yeah, I know you’re probably thinking that this should be a bit higher on the list.  And it would be, except for the fact that (a) I’m going to be there at the end of February and it’s not exactly frozen-desert season and (b)  I work about a block away from what I think is the best gelato this side of the Atlantic, so it won’t likely be the kind of revelation it typically is for Americans raised on bland ice cream.  Still, eating a cup of pistachio while walking through the Campo de’ Fiori will be pretty sweet.

Check out the rest…and help me find the best spots…after the jump.

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