Don’t know what to do with all those zucchini’s from your garden? This recipe is perfect! I saw this recipe on an old Jamie At Home show I Tivo’d, and knew I had to try it! Jamie made it look soooo easy, and it was! And really, really good!
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash
1 lb penne
4 large egg yolks (organic is best)
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 good handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
12 thick slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cut into chunks
a small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped
Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Half and then quarter any larger zucchini lengthways. Cut out and discard any large seeds from the inside, and slice the courgettes at an angle into pieces roughly the same size and shape as the penne. Smaller zucchini can simply be sliced finely. Your water will now be boiling, so add the penne to the pan and cook according to the packet instructions.
To make your creamy carbonara sauce, put the egg yolks into a bowl, add the cream and half the Parmesan, and mix together with a fork. Season lightly and put to one side.
Heat a very large frying pan (a 14 ” one if you have one), add a good splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta until crisp. Add the zucchini slices and 2 big pinches of black pepper, not just to season but to give it a bit of a kick. Sprinkle in the thyme leaves, give everything a stir, so the zucchini becomes coated with all the bacon-flavored oil, and fry until they start to turn lightly golden and have softened slightly.
It’s very important to get this next step right, or your carbonara could end up ruined. You need to work quickly. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water.
You need to work quickly. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water. Immediately, toss the pasta in the pan with the zucchini, & bacon, then remove from the heat and add a ladleful of the reserved cooking water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly. (No more cooking now, otherwise you’ll scramble the eggs.)
Get everyone around the table, ready to eat right away. While you’re tossing the pasta and sauce, sprinkle in the rest of the Parmesan and a little more of the cooking water if needed, to give you a silky and shiny sauce. Taste quickly for seasoning. Serve and eat immediately, as the sauce can become thick and starchy if left too long.