Monday, May 10, 2010
I first saw Jamie make this dish on a episode of Jamie at Home. When I bought the cookbook I marked it as a "must-try". This dish makes a great main course or first course. It can also be served as a side to a simple piece of grilled meat, like lamb or beef. It's particularly good in summer when fresh herbs are available and gardens are overflowing with zucchini. Keep an eye out at your local farmer's market for yellow zucchini. Bright yellow in color, they look fabulous in this dish, but if you can't find them, use all green zucchini - it works fine too.
from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver
6 medium green and yellow zucchini
1 pound penne
4 large egg yolks, preferably organic or free range
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 good handfuls freshly grated parmesan cheese
12 this slices pancetta or bacon cut into chunky pieces
small bunch of fresh thyme, leave picked and chopped
a few zucchini flowers (optional)
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Halve and then quarter any larger zucchini lengthwise. Cut out and discard any fluffy middle bits and slice the zucchini at an angle into pieces roughly the same size as the penne. Smaller zucchini can simply be sliced finely. Your water should now be boiling so add the penne to the pot and cook according to the package instructions.
To make the creamy carbonara sauce, put the egg yolks into a bowl and add the cream and half the parmesan. Mix together with a fork and set aside.
Heat a very large frying pan. Add a good splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta or bacon until dark brown and crisp. Add the zucchini slices and a big pinch of black pepper. Sprinkly in the thyme leaves and give everything a stir, so the zucchini becomes coated with all the bacon-flavored oil, and fry until they start to turn lightly golden and have softened slightly.
Working quickly, draing the pasta, reserving a bit of the cooking liquid. Immediately toss the pasta in the pan with the zucchini, then remove from the heat and add a ladeful of the reserved cooking liquid and the creamy sauce. Stir together quickly. (No more cooking now or you'll scramble the eggs.)
Sprinkle in the rest of the cheese and a little more cooking water if needed. If you have zucchini flowers, tear them over the top. Serve immediately, as the sauce will become thick and stodgy if left too long.
Serve 4 as a main course or 6-8 as a first course.