Lately, I have had a lot more time on my hands to cook at home. Bliss!! With our wedding coming up in the summer, saving money has become more of a priority and so we are making an effort to eat in more. Thankfully, B recently stumbled across the “Jamie At Home” television series and so I have had more than enough inspiration from Mr Oliver. I’m not going to go on and on about how much I love Jamie (although I will if you ask!) but I will tell you that his recipes are consistently tasty and extremely easy to make. Enough said. Try this dish – it was quick, easy and very, very impressive!
Jamie Oliver’s Zucchini Carbonara – Serves 2
100 grams of pancetta, diced
A splash of olive oil
2 zucchini, quartered and sliced into sticks
A good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Two egg yolks, preferably organic, lightly beaten
A generous handful of good-quality, freshly grated parmesan cheese
About 50ml of cream
Penne pasta, enough for two
Put the penne pasta in some salted water and cook as per the cooking instructions. Dice some good quality pancetta. In a frying pan, cook the pancetta in a splash of olive oil until it starts to golden. Quarter the zucchini, slice into small bite-sized sticks and add to the cooking pancetta. Flip the pan to ensure that the zucchini is coated in all the delicious pancetta fat that has rendered out. This stuff is gold and adds most of the flavour to the dish. Add a generous pinch of freshly ground pepper and some fresh thyme. Meanwhile, drain the pasta and retain some of the cooked pasta water to use later.
Once the zucchini has slightly cooked (you want it to be soft, but still with a little bite), add your cooked penne to the zucchini and pancetta. Flip the pan again to coat the pasta in the juices of the pancetta and zucchini and turn off the heat. In a small bowl, add the cream and the parmesan cheese to your slightly beaten eggs and stir gently to combine. Once the pan has stopped sizzling (just listen for it), add the egg mixture and a splash of the retained pasta water and flip to coat all of the pasta. Serve immediately. You want to make sure that the heat isn’t still too hot, otherwise your eggs will scramble – and you don’t want this.
I thought I already knew how to make a brilliant carbonara but no, Jamie has to go and show me up. That’s ok. I don’t mind being wrong when a dish tastes this good!
The original recipe is here.