Pasta Carbonara with Zucchini

This dreamy “white sauce” pasta using breakfast ingredients is from the famed hills of central Italy. Replace zucchini with any in-season vegetable. If you have never tried Parmigianno-Regiano cheese, now is time to exchange it for the Parmesan in the green can.

When skipping the meat this dish is called, cacio e uova. Any shape of pasta will do. It becomes dressed like creamy coleslaw; the eggs cook in the residual heat

Zucchini is Sautéed in the Bacon Fat and Olive Oil

INGREDIENTS: Since there are just a few ingredients plan on using better quality olive oil and cheese

  • pasta – 1 LB, spaghetti or macaroni
  • olive oil – 3 TBS
  • zucchini – 3 cups, sliced into 1/4-inch planks or rounds
  • salt – 1 tsp
  • pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • basil – 1 cup, chopped [or parsley]
  • parmesan cheese – 1 cup, grated
  • red pepper flakes – 1/2 tsp [opt.]
  • eggs – 2
  • bacon – 4-6 strips, 1/2-inch pieces [or use diced pancetta]

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet cook the bacon until crispy and remove with slotted spoon
  2. Start the pasta in well salted water until al denté, save a half cup of pasta water. [You need to have the cooked pasta stay hot so it will cook the eggs off heat]
  3. Add olive oil to the pan with the bacon fat and sauté the zucchini until it begins to brown, 6-8 minutes [sprinkle an 1/8 tsp of baking soda in the skillet first to promote browning]
  4. Add the bacon back to the skillet along with the hot cooked pasta and toss well and keep skillet on low
  5. Combine the eggs, salt, pepper, and basil with half the cheese and the red pepper flakes [if using]
  6. Turn off the heat and toss the egg mixture with the pasta, adding pasta water if needed to keep the pasta loose
  7. Serve warm topped with the remaining cheese
I Used Cavatappi [Corkscrew Pasta] Here

Kimchi Carbonara [Recipe Below] with Tofu Mapo and Steamed Gai Lan [Chinese Broccolini]

KIMCHI CARBONARA: This makes for a quick and sumptuous Italian-Korean Dish

INGREDIENTS:

  • spaghetti – 12 oz.
  • butter – 3 TBS
  • kimchi – 1 cup, minced
  • kimchi juice – 1/2 cup [or more kimchi pureed]
  • parmesan – 1/2 cup, plus more at table
  • eggs – 2
  • chili flakes – serve at table
  • scallion tops – 1/4 cup, minced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook spaghetti just shy of al denté; reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water
  2. Meanwhile, mince kimchi
  3. In a large skillet melt the butter and bring kimchi and juice to a simmer
  4. Add in the drained spaghetti and toss until returned to a simmer; add pasta water if too tight
  5. Beat the egg and combine with the cheese and the chili flakes
  6. Take skillet off heat and pour in egg mixture while tonging the pasta continually to as not to scramble the eggs
  7. Taste for seasoning and use soy or fish sauce if needed; serve with topped with scallion

Recipe adapted by B. Hettig

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