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Well, Happy New Year! I feel like I need to acknowledge that we turned the calendar page in my first contributor recipe of 2017. Does anyone else feel like this year is going to be full of opportunity and blessings? There’s something about the number 17. Maybe because 8 is my favorite number (I was born on 8-8-88) and 1 + 7 = 8… in case you needed to brush up on your 2nd grade math. All superstitions aside, I hope this new year brings you both healing and happiness!
My recipe this month for you is a savory saucy number that will give you the warm fuzzies this winter. I will be at the beach. Because I now live in Florida. Not rubbing it in (Yes, I am). But we Floridians still do like to pretend it’s winter by eating comfort foods when it drops to a frigid 68 degrees F and taking our margaritas “not on the rocks because it’s too cold for ice.” So I’m sharing this lovely recipe today that we can all enjoy no matter the climate. Bacon? Good. Meat? Good. Sauce? Goooood.
This carbonara is slightly untraditional because it does not contain any cream-based white sauce. The beef and mushrooms do simmer and thicken in a mushroom, broth, and red wine-based sauce though, which makes for a just-as-delicious savory dinner. I would serve this with my “AIP red wine” which is a 2:1 ratio of sparkling mineral water and tart cherry juice in a wine glass! And a side salad for extra greens of course! Mangiamo!
- 3-lb spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
- 6 slices bacon
- 3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms, divided
- 1 cup chopped white onion, divided
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup homemade beef broth
- 2 teaspoons each dried thyme, dried basil, and dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus additional for seasoning
- 1 lb ground beef
- ¼ cup red wine
- Arugula, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the squash cut side down. Roast for 40-45 minutes until tender. Let cool before scooping out the flesh with a large fork. Discard any seeds. You can also use an Instant Pot to pressure cook your squash. Pressure-cook the halved squash with ½ cup liquid for 8 minutes and following the above directions for scooping out the flesh.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a cutting board to cool, before chopping into small pieces. Leave the drippings in the pan.
- In a food processor or blender, combine 1 cup of the mushrooms, ½ cup onion, garlic, broth, dried herbs, and sea salt until a smooth liquid forms. Set aside.
- Add the ground beef, remaining 2 cups mushrooms, and remaining ½ cup onion to the skillet and cook on medium heat until the beef is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender. Season with a pinch of sea salt.
- Pour mushroom broth and red wine into the skillet and bring the liquid to a simmer. Maintain a simmer as you allow most of the liquid to evaporate over the next 20 minutes until you are left with a thickened beef and mushroom sauce.
- Serve the warm spaghetti squash topped with the beef and mushrooms, chopped bacon, and arugula.