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This is one of those meals that just tumbled together from different bits and bobs + my sometimes-mantra ‘put an egg on it’. I took a souped-up version of the paleo hash browns from one source, added some leftover spicy/nutty sauce, slapped on an egg (or two), and called it dinner. This meal hits the notes for protein, vegetables, freshness, gooeyness, and heat. It’s a winner.

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Spaghetti Squash & Bacon Hash Browns with Eggs and Pepita Chile Sauce

Adapted from Paleo Hash Browns by Health-Bent and Chile Pesto from Tasting Table

For the hash browns

1 spaghetti squash
1 yellow onion
2 Tbsp. rosemary
4 slices thick cut bacon
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste

For the pepita chile sauce

5 dried mixed chiles (I used 2 black chiles, and 1 long chile of indeterminate origin – the recipe called for guajillo)
3 dried ancho chiles
1 1/2 c. boiling water
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. pepitas
2 limes
1/4 c. cilantro
Big pinch red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic
Big pinch salt
Big pinch pepper

Fat of choice for frying and eggs
2 eggs per person

Preheat the oven to 450. While your oven is heating, split the squash in half longwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and place cut sides down on a cookie sheet.

Dice the onion and chop the rosemary.

When the oven is hot, put your squash in and roast 20 mins. Flip the squash over and cook an additional 15 minutes. You will know the squash is done when you can run a fork across the flesh and it shreds into threads. Set aside to cool.

While the squash is working, dice and fry the bacon over medium heat, setting aside on paper towels to drain when browned. Drain all but a Tablespoon of fat and sautée the onions until softened and just beginning to turn golden. Add the rosemary and salt & pepper. Remove to a large bowl, and add the bacon.

Now make the sauce. Bring the water to a boil. While you’re waiting, de-stem and seed the chiles and place in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over top, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit 15 minutes.

While that is going, toast the pepitas a in a dry pan until just beginning to brown. Add to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Chop the garlic and cilantro and add to the pepitas. Add the olive oil, the juice of both limes, and the red pepper flakes. Whiz until a paste is formed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

When the chiles are done, pick out of the water and add to the paste. Whiz until combined. Add 1/2 c. of the chile liquid and whiz to combine. Add the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If your sauce is too thick, thin with a bit more chile water – you’re looking for a hearty sauce; more like a loose-ish paste than a spready sauce.

Back to the hash browns.

Your squash should now be cool enough to handle. When it is, shred with a fork into the bowl containing the onions & bacon. Mix everything together, salt and pepper if needed, and add the garlic and chili powder.

Form the spaghetti squash mixture into small patties (you should be able to get about 9) and fry over medium-high heat in a few Tablespoons fat of choice until beginning to brown on each side.

As that is working, fry eggs to your desired doneness in your favorite egg frying fat.

Serve hash brown patties topped with a smear of sauce and eggs, 3 per person + 2 eggs.

Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch, with plenty of leftover sauce.