Colonie's Signature Dish Bends the Rules of Classic Spaghetti Carbonara

By Heather Holland on October 23, 2012 8:38am 

COBBLE HILL — Colonie takes the pasta out of the classic spaghetti carbonara, and trades the conventional grated parmesan for parmesan-flavored foam.

At first glance, Colonie’s signature spaghetti squash carbonara appears more like a poached egg than a pasta dish, with a yolky-colored sabayon as the base and a mound of white parmesan foam on top.

“The dish itself kind of personifies what we do here at Colonie, which is taking flavors that are familiar and then presenting them in a new and fun way,” said Brad McDonald, 32, the chef at Colonie.

Colonie, located at 127 Atlantic Ave., is an American-bistro style restaurant and wine bar with a variety of classic American menu options including pork chops and hanger steak.

For the signature dish, despite modifications to the classic recipe, Colonie remains true to the four basic elements of any carbonara recipe, which include eggs, cheese, bacon and black pepper, the chef explained.

In this interpretation, the pasta is replaced with the stringy flesh of spaghetti squash, a yellow squash sourced from a farm based in New York called Satur Farms.

First, the squash is roasted, cut in half, and the stringy insides are then sautéed in a pan for a few minutes to warm and to provide coloring, said McDonald. Next, the chef seasons the strands with salt, black pepper and bits of Colonie's house-cured Berkshire bacon.

The base of the dish is a sabayon, which is prepared separately using eggs sourced from the Forager’s Market in DUMBO. The sabayon combines egg yolks and heavy cream, which are beaten together until thickened, then cooled and seasoned with salt and lemon juice.

“[The sabayon] sits as a small pool at the bottom of the plate and adds that egg element to the dish.”

The spaghetti squash and the bacon are added and then covered with a veil of parmesan foam to finish the dish.

“It’s a little bit lighthearted, it’s a little bit playful and a touch modern all at the same time,” McDonald said.

At Colonie, the spaghetti squash carbonara is priced at $13. For more information and a full menu, visit colonienyc.com.

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