8 & $20 Spaghetti Squash Carbonara with Leftover Makeovers & Bonus Bottles

My latest 8 & $20 recipe for Spaghetti Squash Carbonara went up a few weeks ago on WineSpectator.com, but I think this recipe will be all the more relevant in the weeks to come as holiday feasting kicks into high gear. It’s got everything one’s looking for at this time of year – it’s easy, it’s healthy, and it feels like comfort food.

Greg came up with the basic idea for this recipe a couple of years ago when we were trying to limit our carbs after the indulgent holiday season. We loved it right away and I knew it was a prefect candidate for an 8 & $20. We’ve made it quite a few times since then. One spaghetti squash yields abundant quantities, so I have lots of experience with leftover makeovers with this one.

A lot of times I’ll just have a serving warmed up with extra toppings on top like avocado, sour cream, more bacon, or bacon jam. The flavors kind of remind me of a deconstructed baked potato. I’ve also use bacon jam instead of bacon or pancetta in the basic recipe as well, and it’s very tasty. Warming up the squash in a pan so that the bottom gets a little bit browned is a nice added touch. 

Leftover spaghetti squash carbonara also makes a tasty base for a frittata. Scramble a few more eggs (about 5 or 6) and mix in the spaghetti squash, with a generous  pinch of salt and pepper. Pour it all in a greased, oven-safe pan, and bake it 350°F for about 20 minutes or until set through.

In the post on WineSpector.com we paired this with a white wine from Herdade do Esporão from  Alentejo in Portugal, and a Tormaresca roasto from Salento in the Italian region of Puglia, but we’ve had some other very good matches. 

Disclosure: This wine was sent as a media sample. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

The very first time I made Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, Greg and I enjoyed it with the Balletto Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2015. This wine had been sent to me as a sample for participation in a blogger event, but the wines arrived late so I wasn’t able to taste them in time, but we had it with this instead.

I loved this pairing – a perfect use for a moderately oaked Chardonnay. The wine was broad on the palate with bright citrus notes, gold apples, as well as some tropical fruit notes like pineapple, all with hints of spice. It was an excellent complement to this dish, particularly as a white option for cooler months when you might be looking for a wine that gives off cozy vibes, while still being refreshing.

More recently we had it with J Vineyards Pinot Gris California 2016, which had notes of white peach, tangerine skin, and green apples. It was also a good match with lots of bright fruits, but a much leaner style than all the other matches I’ve shared for this dish. It’s a good match for times you might want your wine pairing to lighten up the food.


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