Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zucchini Pasta Carbonara Recipe

It's nice to find a pasta recipe that looks lovely and doesn't use tomato sauce or cream. This recipe comes from Simply Recipes. I made it with yellow summer squash but adding zucchini or the little patty-pans would be great, too. And I loved using all that fresh basil from my garden.

From Simply Recipes: This recipe uses thinly sliced prosciutto, which works well with the more delicate flavor of the summer squash. But you could also use pancetta (diced), bacon (thin strips), or even thinly sliced ham.


3/4 pound egg noodles
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 summer squash, yielding 4 cups chopped squash
Salt and pepper
4 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup basil leaves, sliced thin*
* To slice the basil leaves, chiffonade them by stacking basil leaves on top of each other, roll them up into a cigar shape, starting at one end and working your way down the "cigar" take thin slices from the end.
1 To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water (one tablespoon of salt for 2 quarts of water).

2 As the water for the pasta is heating, prep your vegetables and heat olive oil and butter on medium high in a large sauté pan. Working in batches, lay pieces of sliced prosciutto down in the pan. Fry gently on both sides until just lightly browned (no more than a minute, more likely 30 seconds each side, the prosciutto is very thin), remove from pan with tongs or a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once cool, tear into bite-sized pieces. Reserve oil in the pan.

3 Add pasta to boiling salted water. The pasta should take about 10-12 minutes to cook until al dente (cooked but still a bit firm), which is just about the right amount of time you'll need to cook the vegetables. Cook with a rolling boil, uncovered.

4 While the pasta is cooking, add the onions, garlic, and summer squash to the sauté pan that you had used to cook the prosciutto. The heat should be medium high. Stir the vegetables so that they are all coated with oil from the pan, then spread them out in the pan, generously salt and pepper them. Cook until they are just lightly browned, stirring only occasionally. Remove from heat.

5 In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the grated Parmesan and lemon zest.

6 When the pasta is ready, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the squash and onions (or add the veggies to the pasta, depending on the size of your pans). Pour the egg, Parmesan, lemon zest mixture over the pasta mixture and quickly stir in with a wooden spoon. The heat from the pasta will sufficiently cook the eggs. Add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water if it looks a little dry. Stir in the prosciutto and basil.
Garnish with more basil and grated Parmesan.

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