what to do with summers bounty? zuchinni carbonara!

Got Zuchinni? Got Squash? Need a recipe to help use up a summer bounty??  I know Momfluential does!  Have you seen her veggie wagon!?!?!?  My garden is not quite in that league, but we had a nice first crop when I got back last week, so I went in search of a recipe.  This time it was Jamie Oliver that saved the day.  Oh man was it good. Honestly, I couldn’t wait for the leftovers for lunch the next day! Packed with flavor, super easy, super quick.

Beautiful Zuchinni Carbonara
Adapted from Jamie Oliver on the Food Network

Don’t let the length of the recipe discourage you!  I think it took 20 minutes total from beginning to end….at the MOST!  I served this with Grilled Peaches for dessert.  Another SUPER FAST recipe!  These are both perfect for summer entertaining, or flavorful dinner for your family.  People will be amazed you can cook like this AND have kids!

Ingredients:

Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
4-6 medium green and yellow zucchini
1 pound pasta (penne, fussili, something easy for the kids)
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 good handfuls freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
12 thick slices pancetta or bacon, cut into chunky pieces (could also use the Trader Joe’s ready chopped pancetta)
A small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped.
Optional: a few zucchini flowers, any fresh herbs you have available.  I used basil and chives along with the thyme.
Optional: chicken stock.  I forgot to reserve cooking liquid as the recipe suggested, so I grabbed a container of chicken stock…I think it actually added well to the flavor!

Directions:

  1. Before you start cooking, it’s important to get yourself a very large pan, or use a high-sided roasting pan so you can give the pasta a good toss.
  2. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. You can prepare the zuchinni 1 of 2 ways. Halve and quarter any larger zucchini lengthwise. Cut out and discard any fluffy middle bits, and A.) slice the zucchini at an angle into pieces roughly the same size and shape as the pasta. or B.) Use a mandoline, which is what I did, to slice everything super thin. Your water will now be boiling, so add the penne to the pan and cook according to the package instructions.
  3. 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 with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Heat a very large frying pan, add a good splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta or bacon until dark brown and 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, along with any other fresh herbs you’re using.  Give everything a stir, so the zucchini is coated with all the lovely bacon-flavored and fry until they start to turn lightly golden and have softened slightly.
  5. 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 and lovely flavors, 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.)
  6. 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. If you’ve managed to get any zucchini flowers, tear them over the top, then serve and eat immediately.

Enjoy!

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