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Year of the Noodle:  Week 48

Having been vegetarian for over 11 years, I don’t understand the obsession with bacon.  I’ve actually heard people say “I could be a vegetarian, too, as long as I could still eat bacon.”

Hmm.  It doesn’t quite work like that.

Why is bacon the only thing you couldn’t give up?  If anything, I’d think chicken would be harder because it’s in everything.  No?

The bacon in this recipe is a vegetarian substitute, and as I’ve heard many times, apparently tastes nothing like the real thing.  John claims it is like eating the paper towel that you put cooked bacon on – salty, paper-like, and totally unsatisfying.  To me it tastes just fine (probably because I have 11 plus years of not eating bacon on my side.)

I think the vegetarian bacon adds just what it is supposed to in this dish – salty, smoky flavor.  If you are horrified by the idea of not eating the real thing, I’m sure this dish would be just as good with pork bacon.

Just don’t claim you are a vegetarian while you’re eating it.  I might have to smack you.


1 medium butternut or kabocha squash, cut into bite-sized chunks
8 oz pasta
4 slices tempeh bacon, cut into small pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb baby spinach
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp almond milk or regular milk or heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400.  Roast squash on a foil-lined pan for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Set up a pot of salted water to boil.  Begin to cook the pasta.  While the water is heating, spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook the bacon.  Add the garlic and some black pepper.  Add the cooked squash to the pan.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the egg yolks, almond milk, and parmesan cheese.

Place the spinach in the bottom of a colander.  Reserve some of the water from the pasta and then strain over the spinach so that the hot water cooks the spinach as you’re draining.  Add the pasta and spinach to the pan and toss.

Remove the pan from the heat.  Use the pasta water to temper the egg mixture, pouring in a 3 tbsp, one at a time, and stirring vigorously while adding so the eggs don’t cook.  Pour the tempered egg mixture into the pan and toss to coat.  Add a bit of the pasta water until sauce has the desired consistency.

Serve with parmesan cheese.

Source: Eats Well With Others


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