Thursday, 5 August 2010

Courgette Carbonara

Yesterday my friend Sarah visited with her 5 year old son, Alex. They spent the day with Matt, playing on the Wii and going to the beach to find oddly shaped pebbles. I only get home from work at six and figured the best thing to do would be to make them dinner so we could all sit around the table and chat before they had to head off home.

But as I thought about it I began to get a little bit worried. What do I make a 5 year old boy? I can’t go down the generic chicken nuggets and chips road because 1) I’m not going to feed my friend’s son that and 2) I don’t really want to eat that myself.

So I decided to make one of my all time favourites – Courgette Carbonara. You may have seen on my Weekly Shopping Lists that Courgette Carbonara is on there a lot. And it’s there for a number of reasons.

Reason 1: It is very very tasty
Reason 2: It is very very easy to make
Reason 3: Even though it’s full of cream, the courgettes make you feel less guilty
Reason 4: It’s also pretty cheap

I generally always have eggs in as a staple, and we have a fair bit of pasta so I have parmesan in fairy often (but I do think I will start buying blocks of parmesan, as they last for a very long time)/ Bacon is generally something I always have in the freezer as it can be defrosted in a very short time, and we always have pasta in the cupboard so that leaves only a few ingredients left to buy!

The following recipe serves 2 very generously.

Enough penne for 2 portions
3 or 4 rashers of bacon (or whatever you have in – I’ve made it with just 2 before)
1 large courgette
A good handful of lemon thyme
2 egg yolks
100ml of double cream
2 handfuls of parmesan (again, or as much or as little as you’d like)
Black pepper

While the pasta is cooking, cut the bacon into pieces (cut off the fat) and fry in a wok or wok-styled frying pan (if you don’t have one, don’t worry – you can just pour the bacon mixture into the pasta, instead of the other way around).

While the bacon is browning, slice the courgette in quarters, lengthways, and discard the ends. Cut out the soft bit in the middle so they’re thin, and slice down the middle again. Cut the courgette slices on the diagonal, so they’re roughly the same size and shape as the penne.

To get the leaves off the thyme, hold the sprig at the top and run your thumb and forefinger down the stem – the leaves should fall straight off. Add these to the bacon, along with the courgette and fry until the bacon courgettes get a nice golden colour on them. Don’t worry if the bacon goes a bit crispy – I prefer it that way!

While the courgettes are cooking (keeping an eye on them and stirring them occasionally) add 100ml of milk to a jug. Add the egg yolks and one handful of parmesan. Season with black pepper and whisk together with a fork.

Once the penne is cooked, drain and add to the bacon and courgette mix. Stir together, turn off the heat (so the eggs don’t scramble) and pour in the egg mixture. Ensure all the pasta is covered and add the last bit of parmesan to make it extra cheesy.

Serve immediately.

It’s okay, you can thank me later.


  1. That looks tasty =)
    I have a 4 year old and I always have to find something to make it a little more child-friendly lol.

    I bet my husband would love that dish. I just might have to try it out when he comes home next month!!

  2. I...need a translation. LOL Is a courgette...a zucchini? (In Chinese they're called Italian Squash.....) And a rasher strip? And double cream is...heavy whipping cream? Gah. Whatever it is, the recipe looks delicious!

  3. LOL sorry about that!!

    you're right about the zucchini and one strip of bacon though!

    double cream is slightly thinner than whipping cream, but heavier than single cream (generally poured on desserts)... that said, you could probably use something like creme fraiche (don't know if you have that over there!!) or greek yoghurt to lower the cals a bit!

  4. Haha, I was wondering about a couple of those words myself. Glad that was cleared up because THIS. LOOKS. AMAZING. Really, I'm obsessed with your blog. The only thing that sucks is it makes me sooo hungry, and I usually do my blog reading late at night when I can't do anything to satisfy that hunger! I must say, you're very talented. :)

    Since you're a follower, I wanted to let you know I moved my blog to I hope you'll check it out when you get the chance and let me know what you think. I'm pretty thrilled about the transition!



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