A Sarcastic Appetite


Courgette Carbonara
July 26, 2009, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last week I had been keeping an eye out for recipes that involved anything in my haul from the CSA, and thankfully the interwebs happily obliged. On Friday, I spied a post on Serious Eats about an updated version of pasta carbonara, with zucchini. I was a little leery – zucchini is kind of tasteless, I don’t know, would the thyme really make a difference, but wait a minute, wait a minute: bacon makes everything better. And since we now know that bacon cures hangovers, I thought it would be a good recipe to have in the old repertoire for those times when, you know, I’m feeling a little bit fuzzy after having too much sparkling water on a particularly kicky Saturday night. (Happens all the time.)

As I watch the bacon render its fat into the butter I’ve sauteed it with, I begin to feel slight twinges in my chest. Apparently, having not read the recipe terribly carefully, I didn’t realize that there’s no draining of the bacon fat; that’s what you cook the zucchini in. My arteries winced, and I wondered if maybe I should cook something else? Something that showcased the CSA bounty in all its glory, rather than drowning it in pig fat? Maybe like a zucchini soup, or, um, salad?

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Not to worry, I came to my senses immediately. Look at those little zucchini half-moons swimming in bacon fat! Delicious. I realize the image below gives you little sense of what the heck the end result looked like (you should know by now I prefer to cover just about everything with a hefty grating of Parmigiano Reggiano) but you’re getting it anyway.

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Courgette Carbonara

Adapted from this recipe from Serious Eats. Serves 2.

2 medium zucchini

2 egg yolks

1/2 lb. penne

3 slices bacon, chopped

1 tbsp. butter

3-4 springs fresh thyme (I thought it could even have used a little more)

about 1/2 c. nice Parmesan cheese, grated

lots of salt and pepper

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, half of the cheese, and some salt and pepper. Whip it a bit with a fork, then set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, slice the zucchini lengthwise, and then into half-moons roughly the size of the penne. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan, then add the bacon and let it render its fat, until it begins to get crispy around the edges. Add the zucchini and the thyme, and continue to cook, stirring frequently.

Once the pasta’s cooked, drain it, reserving a little bit of the water, a little less than half a cup or so. Add that to the egg yolk mixture and stir it a bit, loosening it up. Add the sauce mixture and the pasta to the pan with the bacon and zucchini; toss briefly to combine, then serve immediately, with the rest of the cheese on top and more freshly ground black pepper.

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