Monday, September 9, 2013

Zucchini Carbonara Pasta

Zucchini Carbonara Pasta

Fresh zucchini simply cannot compare to the ones you find in the grocery store.  Fortunately, a couple of fresh granted me zucchini from a part of farm share.  Ironically, both people that gave me zucchini gave it to me the same week and I ended up with three different kinds of it.  So I started reading and trying to find some recipe or ideas which would work with this lovely fresh zucchini.  Some got grilled with another meal, and some parts were used in a lovely mint, zucchini and farro salad.
The last of my zucchini was used in this recipe for a carbonara pasta with zucchini.  As I had never made carbonara before, I was a little concerned about cooking the eggs and turning the whole thing into a mess, but alas it did not happen.  Not only did it not happen, but it also did not happen upon reheating the pasta for leftovers.  Also, it did reheat well and was just about as good as the first time.  Not quite only because there is just something wonderful about the smell of cooking bacon which sets the expectations that much higher.

This recipe is adapted from Jamie At Home by Jamie Oliver. I was given a couple of his cookbooks and though I wasn't thrilled with others that he has written, a few of them have stuck me as great ideas for cooking.

Zucchini Carbonara
1 yellow squash, cut into smaller square pieces
1 green zucchini, cut into smaller square pieces
1 multicolored green striped zucchini, cut into smaller square pieces
1 pound penne pasta
2 large eggs yolks (best you can get)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
freshly grated good quality Parmesan cheese
olive oil
bacon - 1 pound cut into smaller strips
4-6 smaller pieces of fresh thyme (depending on your taste)
salt and pepper

Boil the pasta.  While water is heating and the pasta is will make the carbonara sauce.  Put the two egg yolks into a small bowl.  Add the cream and 3-4 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Mix together with a fork.  Season a little with salt and pepper.

In a large frying pan, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Fry the bacon until crisp.  Add the squash and zucchini.  Sprinkle in the thyme leaves, salt and pepper (though you probably don't need much salt due to the bacon).  Stir well until everything is coated in the bacon grease and olive oil.  Fry until everything is lightly golden brown.

When the pasta is done, drain it, but reserve some of the water (a cup is plenty).  Immediately toss with the bacon zucchini squash mixture.  Remove from heat.  At this point you may need a little of the pasta water to add with your carbonara sauce.  Be sure everything isn't too hot or else you will cook the egg yolks.  The pasta water it to help give a shine to the pasta, but you may not need to use it or choose not to use it.  Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.  Serve immediate with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4-6 depending on portion sizes

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