Saturday, July 26, 2008

something decadent...summer carbonara

Jamie Oliver was on this morning, tempting me with a beautiful recipe of zucchini carbonara. I scanned my fridge, decided that I have the ingredients necessary for it, and made my rendition of this classic Italian dish.

Classic carbonara is made with heavy cream, egg yolks, cheese (usually parmesan or precorino), and pancetta. Jamie added summer zucchinis and fresh thyme. I decided to forgo the bacon, and added in yellow squash, mushrooms, and pencil asparagus (everything I have in the fridge). It was quite good :)

Summer Carbonara
serves 4-6

6 squash (yellow or green) or zucchinis
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced asparagus
2 garlic, minced
1 pound penne
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 handfuls of freshly grated parmesan cheese
splash of white wine
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
fresh or dried Italian herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc.)

Add salt to a pot of boiling water. Drop in your penne, giving it a stir once in a while to prevent sticking. Cook it according to the package instructions.

To make the sauce, whisk together the egg yolks, heavy cream, and white wine. Stir in half the parmesan cheese and season with black pepper. Set aside.

Slice the squash into half moons or sticks. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heated, large, high-sided pan pan (so you can toss your pasta afterwards). Once the oil is hot, add in the zucchini and garlic. In about 30 seconds, toss in the sliced asparagus and mushrooms. Season with pepper and herbs. Sautee the vegetables until the squash and mushrooms are golden. Add salt to taste.

The pasta should be cooked to al dente by now. Strain them and add to the vegetable mixture, but be sure to save the pasta water. Turn off the heat under your pan and work quickly. Add in a ladle of the pasta water and your cream sauce mixture. Stir everything together quickly (no more cooking, otherwise you'll scramble the egg). Add in the rest of the parmesan cheese and more pasta water if needed. The resulting sauce should be smooth and shiny. Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and serve right away.


Peabody said...

What a great twist and you still get your veggies in...just with a little cream. :)

Sophie said...

What a great person to be inspired by :)! A delicious take on a tasty dish, makes me miss Summer! I would love to feature your recipe on our blog and the Demy, the first and only digital recipe reader. Please email me at if you're interested. Thanks!