Sunday, July 31, 2011

Zucchini Carbonara with Fresh Thyme



This recipe from Jamie Oliver is a win-win at our home since my husband loves bacon, I love zucchini and we both enjoy pasta. Right now, I have also have lots of thyme on my hands :)


Another great way to use fresh, summer zucchini. If you can get baby zucchini for this recipe, even better. Sauteed pancetta (we prefer bacon) is combined with zucchini and thyme in a creamy carbonara sauce thickened with egg yolks, cream and Parmesan cheese. I have used fat free half and half successfully in the carbonara sauce.


If you are craving some summer comfort food, I highly recommend this pasta!



Zucchini Carbonara

Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Printable Recipe

As much as I love Jamie's show and cooking, I tried to make this recipe a little easier to follow rather than using a 'fistful' of this and a 'knob' of that.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium green zucchini (or 4-6 baby zucchini as I used)
1 Box uncooked penne pasta (some of cooking water saved!)
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
Approximately 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
5 thick slices of pancetta, or good thick bacon, cut into strips to match size of penne
Small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves stripped (dried thyme is okay but fresh will taste much better)
Zucchini flowers if you have them

Heat a large pan of salted water to boil. Halve zucchini length-ways. Discard any soft middle parts if zucchini are large and slice the zucchini at an angle into pieces about the same size and shape as the penne. Baby zucchinis can simply be halved and sliced. Add the penne to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.

To make the carbonara sauce, put the egg yolks into a bowl, add the cream and half the Parmesan, and blend with a fork. Season lightly and put in refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat a very large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the pancetta or bacon until dark brown and crisp. Add the zucchini slices and 2 teaspoons of black pepper. You want this to have a kick. Add the thyme leaves and stir, so the zucchini are coated with all the bacon-flavored oil, and fry until they start to turn golden and soften just slightly.

This next step is very important as you need to work quickly. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a good ladle-ful or two of the cooking water. Immediately, add the pasta to pan with the zucchini and pancetta, then remove from the pan from the heat and add the ladle-ful of the reserved cooking water and the egg/cream sauce. Stir together quickly. Do not return to the heat or you'll get scrambled eggs. The hot pasta water and the heat of the other ingredients will cook the egg sufficiently. If you are concerned about this part, you can also use pasteurized eggs.

Serve immediately with the rest of the Parmesan and a little more of the cooking water if needed, to give a silky and shiny sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you have any zucchini flowers, tear them over the top, then serve and eat immediately.

56 comments:

  1. I love carbonara and I love zucchini so combining the two makes this one a winner in my book! Looks delicious, Susan!

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  2. This is a great way to use the summer zucchini (the gift that can keep on giving a summer). Summer squashes are wonderful with pasta.

    Feel better.

    Velva

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  3. I hope you feel better soon..

    you never complain:)


    these are tops in our repertoire here.. pasta..bacon..veggies..eggs..
    The protein is so good for us..
    Thank you for the recipe and of course your photography..

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  4. What I'm loving even more than how delicious this sounds, is that I have every single ingredient on hand.

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  5. This is a lovely recipe. Your pics are fabulous and make it look even more appealing. I love courgette so this really is one for me!

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  6. My brain got stuck on fat-free half and half... how can that be???

    WHen I'm sick I crave comfort food... and then put hot pepper all over everything...but then that's my cure for everything. Delish way to use up those pesky zucchini. Do hope that cold goes away. Feel better!!

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  7. Yum! Thanks for sharing. Sorry that cold keeps hanging on. :(

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  8. I am excited to see that I have two small zucchini on the way (and way too many ideas for them), and always have gobs and gobs of thyme. This sounds delish, thanks for posting.

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  9. Susan your variation on "carbonara" is exciting, I will try very soon!Thanks for sharing dear, a hug....

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  10. You are making my mouth water! I was hooked at carbonara! Hope your cold goes away soon, but thank you for the *soul* food!

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  11. Now this sounds delicious...Hope you beat that summer cold very soon.

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  12. Thanks for cleaning up those dtrections for us! ;>

    Feel better soon...

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  13. Hey pretty girl! I love zucchinis, my very fav...SOOO tonight I'm making your recipe, just perfect for a dinner with a salad!! Love it, too great! Hope your better soon...summer colds are ugly, with the heat and all. Thanks for sharing it with us. Love, FABBY

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  14. I love bacon and zucchini, and of course pasta, so I must try this dish. xo,

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  15. Hope you are feeling better soon. Love your mosaic on thyme..beautiful photos. The carbonara looks delicious, garden fresh zucchini, nothing better!

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  16. It does indeed look like a wonderful comfort food dish, Susan, and a very delicious one. I love a pasta dish like this as it is a complete and nutritious meal.

    Hope you feel better soon!

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  17. This pasta looks just like something that I would enjoy especially with the summertime zucchini available.

    Hope you are felling all better real soon!

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  18. Summer colds are the worst so I feel for you. This sounds like a great pasta. Joni

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  19. Hope you are feeling better soon Susan. We would enjoy this pasta too!

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  20. just found your blog... this recipe looks delicious. I'm always looking for healthy, fresh pasta recipes.
    have a great day!
    xo,
    mini baker

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  21. Yimm, yumm, yumm. I can imagine this with fettuccine as well with shaved zucchini on the mandolin.

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  22. Just when I thought I couldn't face another zucchini, I think you've made it possible--even desirable!

    Hope you are feeling better soon. Those summer colds can be so draining. I recommend a comfortable chair under a cool tree with a good book and a pitcher of iced tea. I'd have mine sweetened of course.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  23. Looks fantastic! Wish i had some flowers as well!

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  24. Now I want pasta for breakfast :)

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  25. Beautiful pictures and such a fabulous recipe.

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  26. Carbonara and zucchini? I am in. love the combination of both falvours in one dish. Very brilliant.

    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

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  27. Oh my. This sounds wonderful. This is a definite "gotta-try-very-soon".

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  28. What a great summertime meal! As always, your pictures are incredible! Hope you feel better soon.

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  29. This dish looks wonderful! Your photos are beautiful. I'm getting hungry. This recipe is a must! Thank you!
    -Lynn

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  30. This looks awesome! I just made a really amazing pasta carbonara, but now I wish I added lots of zucchini in :)

    Sues

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  31. Looks delicious! Do the zucchini flowers add a peppery flavour?

    Come for a visit when you have a moment The Gardening Life.

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  32. What a fantastic take on carbonara...looks delicious!
    Sorry about your summer cold, hope you are feeling better soon :)

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  33. Susan, I love this carbonara recipe! It looks creamy and filled with summer deliciousness! The last of my zucchini are on the vine, but I'll buy more for this recipe!
    I am making this! Look for it ON THE MENU MONDAY with a link back to this post the week of Aug 15th.
    Could I use one of your gorgeous pictures to show off our recipe?
    Thanks for bringing CARBONARA (one of my very favorites) to ON THE MENU MONDAY!
    xo Yvonne

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  34. Hai Dear

    This looks yummy....you have a lovely blog… You have so many wonderful recipes..I have bookmarked you blog and some recipe from that to try..Please check out my blog.I am having a Giveaway in my blog..Please check it out and partcipate in that..
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/2011/07/homemade-bounty-chocolate-and-giveaway.html

    Aarthi

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  35. What a perfect carbonara pasta recipe for this time of the year; my neighbour just gave me some lovely zuchinis. I wll be trying this soon.
    Rita

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  36. I love a good carbonara, especially when it's bulked up with some light veggies, like the zucchini! fabulous dish!

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  37. I like carbonara, but we are anti zucchini here!
    Your pics are beautiful and great mosaic !

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  38. Oh, this sounds sooo good!! Our zucchini plants have officially keeled over, so my days of creating new ways to eat the vegetable are over, but next time I come across some at a farmers market, I will keep this recipe in mind-thanks!

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  39. That's a delicious bowl of pasta! I love carbonara too. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day!

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  40. This pasta sounds great Susan! You don't hear this too often in August... but I wish I had some more zucchini! My plants just aren't producing this year, that or the rabbits are extra sneaky:@)

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  41. I love carbonara pasta and by adding zucchini makes it even better. Love the pictures...they sure reflects the flavor of this pasta.
    Hope you are having a fantastic week Susan :-)

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  42. hope you feel better soon, great dish!! pasta with zucchini makes for a great flavor combo!

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  43. Susan, I love carbonara and this recipe looks just unbelievably delicious!

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  44. Susan beauty picstures and sound delicious ! gloria

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  45. I love carbonara, but never try them with zucchini..looks so light, summery and delightful!

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  46. I am gathering all the zucchini recipes I can get right now, my garden is overflowing!!! This looks simply amazing :)

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  47. I think I am one of those one in a million who never gets more than one or two zucchini off their plants! I didn't even plant them this year I have been so disappointed! This looks wonderful.

    It just seems wrong that a person should be able to get a cold in the summer doesn't it? Get better and enjoy those comfort foods.

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  48. I'm sorry you're under the weather. The pasta looks perfect. I've been meaning to try one of Jamie's recipes and this is the perfect opportunity. Feel better!

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  49. splendida questa carbonara!da fare il bis!!!!!!un abbraccio!!

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  50. I love both zucchini and cabonara - your food looks great!

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  51. Sorry, it has taken me so long to get caught up with all of your wonderful comments after recovering from my illness! Thank you so much for the wonderful comments.

    As for the taste, Gardening Life, I think they taste faintly like zucchini but slightly sweeter.

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  52. I'm not a zuchinni fan, but this sounds great. Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays. So sorry it's taken me so long to visit.

    - The Tablescaper

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  53. After going through what seems like every possible thing you could pop on the grill, I too start to crave something like this. It might be 98 degrees outside, but inside with the a/c it is nice and cool! Great way to spark up the flavor of the zucchini.

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  54. Dear Susan,

    I love carbonara and Jamie Oliver's recipes. I found that not using cream in this dish makes it a lighter without losing out on flavours. The one ingredient I would add for this dish is bacon salt for a little added decadence :)

    Thought you might like this simple bacon salt recipe

    http://chopinandmysaucepan.com/bacon-salt-making-your-own-delicious-seasoning

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! The bacon salt sounds very intriguing and delicious!

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