A kind of holiday and a kind of carbonara

I back from my kind of holiday In London.

It was kind of, because that what happens to your holidays when you flee to another country and ignore paperwork for 4 years.

I did however tuck my knees under lots of nice tables, clink glasses with people I love and eat lots of good food, especially here, twice, which was just great.

…..and made modest progress with the ominous muddle of paperwork.

Back home and I am nursing a hangover from the happy but somewhat frenzied kind of holiday. Piles of paperwork, trying to see everyone and special people as much as possible, eating at so many tables, sleeping in so many different beds has left me in need of a long-weekend of quiet and familiar….

……and plates of pasta with Vincenzo at our table

zucchini car 4zucc car 5

Yesterdays quiet and familiar lunch was courgette carbonara or as Vincenzo would say pasta e zucchini alla carbonara…. or maybe I should say kind of carbonara, which is a bit like a kind of holiday I suppose.

We make this alot, because as you may or may not of gathered we are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to lunchtime pasta, it’s often this, this, or this or this on heavy rotation. The principle of this favorite is similar to that of classic carbonara in that hot al dente pasta is tossed in a frying pan with something fried (guanciale or pancetta) then a mix of raw beaten egg, black pepper, parmesan and pecorino is added to the hot pan which is then removed from the heat. While you stir the heat of pasta and the fried thing (that is usually guanciale) gently cooks the egg and melts the cheese creating a thick creamy sauce to coat the pasta. This is served with more cheese.

When I am alone I am pretty classic but when Vincenzo is around – the man does not partake of meat – the guanciale is replaced by finely sliced onion, courgette, torn courgette flowers, basil and a little more cheese on top than usual

veg for zucc carzucc car 3 eggs and par

You can of course have guanciale or pancetta with the courgette and onion – that is really nice, really really nice in fact and only forsaken because I love Vincenzo more than guanciale, only just, but I do.

So it goes like this…

While your pasta is cooking, we use garofalo spaghetti which takes about 9 minutes, you fry your onion until golden brown (if you are using guanciale you fry that first and then add the onion and fry for a couple more minutes.) Then you add the fine strips of courgette and courgette flowers, stir and allow them to wilt. While the wilting is happening you beat 2 whole eggs with some finely grated parmasan and pecorino and plenty of freshly ground blcak pepper in small bowl. Now, drain the pasta but save a little of the cooking water, then tip the hot pasta and a small ladleful of the reserved water into the pan with the onion and courgette – toss everything together. Next add the egg mixure to the pan along with the ripped basil leaves, remove the pan from the heat and stir evrything together firmly but gently so the sauce thickens.

Serve on warm plates…..

zucchini carbonara 1

…….with more freshly grated parmesan.

Pasta and zucchini alla carbonara or A kind of carbonara

  • 200g good dried spaghetti, Linguine or Fettucine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ( optional -60g guanciale or pancetta diced)
  • a small red onion peeled and cut in thin half moons
  • 2 medium courgettes julienned (if possible with flowers which should be washed, patted dry and torn into strips)
  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • 20g freshly grated parmesan
  • 20g freshly grated pecorino
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • good extra virgin olive oil and more grated parmesan for on top

Start cooking your pasta in plenty of fast boiling, well salted water.

Fry the onion in olive oil until golden brown (if you are using guanciale you fry that first and then add the onion and fry for a couple more minutes.) Then you add the fine strips of courgette and courgette flowers, stir and allow them to wilt.

While the wilting is happening you beat 2 whole eggs with some finely grated parmasan and pecorino and plenty of freshly ground black pepper in small bowl.

Now, drain the pasta but save a little of the cooking water, then tip the hot pasta and a small ladleful of the reserved water into the pan with the onion and courgette – toss everything together.

Next add the egg mixture to the pan along with the ripped basil leaves, remove the pan from the heat and stir everything together firmly but gently so the sauce thickens.

Serve immediately on warm plates with more parmesan and really nice olive on top.

Cherries for pudding are nice

cherries

It’s even nicer to be home.

24 Comments

Filed under Eggs, food, pasta and rice, Rachel's Diary, recipes, Uncategorized

24 responses to “A kind of holiday and a kind of carbonara

  1. Fantastic post and pictures. Now I want cherries…

  2. Oh, that looks SO GOOD. You are such a good pasta inspiration.

  3. I love your comment about loving Vincenzo just a little more than guanciale! I’ll have to try making a pasta like this where you stir in the egg and cheese.

  4. Lovely, lovely lovely. I like your choice in pairing knife too. My global is always my pairer of choice.

  5. Ben

    hello mia sorella.

    so nice to see you.

    post a recipe for pajata….. mmmmmm

    miss you yode.

  6. I know exactly what you’re feeling about the quick, intense trips home – the great opportunities to see (and eat and drink) with everyone you miss – that just leave you exhausted. We’re planning christmas in the UK this year and that’s going to be joyful hell, i can already feel it. And, so glad you went to St. John (twice!). It’s the kind of place every city should have one of.
    And, there’s no disgrace whatsoever in a meatless alla carbonara when you’re subbing zucchini flowers in. Perhaps the greatest pizza I ever ate was with zucchini flowers in Trastevere, and the very fact that you can easily get your hands on them makes me mighty jealous…

  7. zoe

    Great pasta recipe. I love your blog! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Cherries for pudding are always nice.

    Love the aerial shots – they give a sense of the joy of coming home and having your own kitchen to play with.

    Beautiful dish.

  9. What a great take on carbonara. I usually add some green with fresh peas, but zucchini must add a lot more flavor. I have to try this.

  10. So inspired.

    I’m finding that carbonara makes a satisfying meal for any of the a.m.’s or p.m.’s

  11. I just made a very similar pasta with baby, young zucchini that are sometimes hard to find in the States. Your blog makes me miss living in Rome! I go back often, though, and now I can visit your blog for a refresher. Grazie mille.

  12. See now? Just what I was saying. You have a way of telling the recipe… where it doesn’t seem like a recipe… alchemy. I will make this. There is no doubt.

    Glad you are happy and home. Glad I found you.

  13. OMG–I must try this when zucchini blossoms are in season. Thanks.

  14. We’ve got courgette plants, basil and chickens in our garden at the moment so this seemed like the perfect recipe for making the most of them all. We had it for dinner tonight and it was really very good. Thanks for the recipe

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  16. Colette

    I made this last night with the suggested addition on the pancetta and it was soooo delicious. The julienned courgettes provide such a wonderful texture. Thanks Rachel. Loved the recipe and love your blog.

    • rachel

      ohh colette that just made my morning…it is so nice to know recipes work and that people like them.
      thankyou for letting me know x

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  22. Gabriella

    I made this tonight for the first time……my what an amazing dish! I don’t think I’m ever going to put back that dollop of cream in carbonara again. It was so fresh, so light, ‘squisito’! 😋

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