Happy Friday! Renly and I just got in from a humid mid-morning walk and are cooling off on the couch, dreaming about smoked salmon spaghetti squash carbonara. Or at least I am….Renly is probably dreaming about chasing all his doggy friends and rolling around in the dirt.
I love Friday afternoons. Everyone is in a good mood, the weekend is just around the corner, what could be better! Robert and I have a few fun weekend plans already in the works including dinner with our friends Ben and Annie (and baby Cooper!) tonight and an early morning 5k with our neighbors Mark and Lindsay. Mark’s company is helping put together a 5k to benefit the families of the 9 victims of the shooting that took place at the AME Church in Charleston last month. Such a horrible, senseless tragedy. I will never understand racism or how people can live with such hatred in their hearts towards entire groups of people they’ve never even met. The race is sure to be HOT, but well worth it to support these beautiful families who reacted to pure hatred with such grace and love. Theirs is the faith I want to have.
Mark and Lindsay are not only our fellow runners, neighbors and good friends, but they also inspired the recipe I am sharing today! Remember when we celebrated their wedding back in March?
Well as a wedding gift, Mark’s sister bought them a CSA box for a year. AWESOME gift idea by the way if you know of a couple who loves to cook. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and typically means that for a reasonable set price, you receive a weekly (or bi-weekly) box filled with local produce. It’s a great way to support local farmers and benefit from fresh healthy produce. Win-win! You never know what types of produce you will receive as it changes weekly based on what is in season and being grown around you. I love this as it encourages you to try new vegetables that you may not have bought at the store. Lindsay has been kind enough to share some of the veggies with Robert and I when she doesn’t think they will be able to finish them all. The produce is always fresh and delicious, and usually significantly smaller than what I see at the grocery store which makes you wonder… did nature really intend spaghetti squash and eggplants to be the size of your head…I’m going to guess no. I’m going to look into signing Robert and I up to receive our own box, or maybe Lindsay and Mark would like to split one once their subscription runs out. If your area offers a CSA box program, check it out!
Last week Lindsay shared several lovely little eggplants, an onion and a few types of squash with us, one of which was a spaghetti squash the PERFECT size for two. After enjoying eggplant rollatini for dinner, I wanted to try something new with the spaghetti squash. My mother had also left a pack of smoked salmon in my fridge from her 4th of July visit. I LOVE smoked salmon and realized I had all the ingredients to incorporate it into a carbonara dish already on hand.
Traditional carbonara uses pasta of course, and has a delicious sauce made from eggs, cheese and bacon. I still used the eggs and cheese, but I swapped roasted spaghetti squash for the pasta and decided we would try it with smoked salmon instead of bacon. When my sister Haley and I visited Italy a few years ago she had a smoked salmon pasta dish in Florence that she STILL raves about, so I thought my dish should work.
Not only did it work, but Robert claimed it was “top ten”. As in “Top ten dishes I’ve ever made”. I’ve told you before that Robert is pretty liberal when it comes to praising my cooking, but even I thought this dish was a homerun. It felt decadent but still light and fairly healthy, not to mention it was incredibly easy to make. It will definitely be a repeat in this household, and as much as I like new recipes, those don’t happen very often! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Smoked Salmon Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
1 Spaghetti Squash, halved, seeded and roasted (for instructions see this post)
1 4 oz package of Smoked Salmon, diced into bite sized pieces
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 Shallot, minced
1 clove of Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Mirin (or any white wine)
1 Whole Egg plus 2 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp. Chopped Parsley
1. Prepare your spaghetti squash per above linked post. Once cooled, Remove strands with a fork (this can be done in advance).
2. In a small bowl, beat the egg and yolks together. Add cheese and parsley and stir until well combined. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced shallot and saute until carmelized, stirring often. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute. Add the mirin and cook until liquid has evaporated. Add the smoked salmon and saute for an additional minute, until heated through.
4. Add the egg and cheese mixture to the salmon mixture in the pan, stirring constantly so that the eggs do not cook. Add the spaghetti squash and stir together until it is completely combined with the salmon/sauce and heated through. Serve immediately.