Monday, May 17, 2010

A Monday Meal Challenge Reminder!

Good Monday morning to you all!! I hope everyone has had a fabulous weekend and is ready for a new, wonderful and easy recipe to share with their loved ones!! I know I am!

With the weather finally warming to spring temperatures here in Wisconsin, my family and I are on the look out for some lighter fare. A few weeks ago, I had some zucchini that I needed to use. Sure, I could have just steamed it, perhaps even breaded and fried it (which is truly my favorite way to have zucchini), but I wanted to do something different. I spent some time searching the internet but nothing was really appealing...until I found a recipe from Jamie Oliver. So without further ado, I give you Beautiful Zucchini (Courgette) Carbonara!!

Servings:4 Cook time: 20 minutes or so

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 medium green and yellow zucchini

  • 1 pound penne or other pasta if you don't have penne

  • 4 large free-range or organic egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 2 good handfuls freshly grated Parmesan

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Olive oil

  • 12 thick slices pancetta or lean bacon, cut into chunky pieces

  • A small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped, flowers reserved (if you can get hold of flowering thyme)

  • Optional: a few zucchini flowers

Before you start cooking, it's important to get yourself a very large pan, or use a high-sided roasting pan so you can give the pasta a good toss.
Put a large pan 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 and shape as the penne. Smaller zucchini can simply be sliced finely. Your water will now be boiling, so add the penne to the pan and cook according to the package instructions.
To make your creamy carbonara sauce, put the egg yolks into a bowl, add the cream and half the Parmesan, and mix together with a fork. Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat a very large frying pan (a 14-inch is a good start - every house should have one!), add a good splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta or bacon until dark brown and crisp. Add the zucchini slices and 2 big pinches of black pepper, not just to season but to give it a bit of a kick. Sprinkle in the thyme leaves, give everything a stir, so the zucchini is coated with all the lovely bacon-flavored oil, and fry until they start to turn lightly golden and have softened slightly.
It's very important to get this next bit right or your carbonara could end up ruined. You need to work quickly. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water. Immediately, toss the pasta in the pan with the zucchini, bacon and lovely flavors, then remove from the heat and add a ladleful of the reserved cooking water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly. (No more cooking now, otherwise you'll scramble the eggs.)
Get everyone around the table, ready to eat straightaway. While you're tossing the pasta and sauce, sprinkle in the rest of the Parmesan and a little more of the cooking water if needed, to give you a silky and shiny sauce. Taste quickly for seasoning. If you've managed to get any zucchini flowers, tear them over the top, then serve and eat immediately, as the sauce can become thick and stodgy if left too long.

Three out of four household members recommend this as is, we also like to add some grilled chicken to it, yum! Devin says that you MUST remove the zucchini from his because it's green and he just won't eat anything green as it's 'seriously unnatural, Mommy!' ;)

The recipe claims to be four servings. We've made this twice now and have enough leftovers for several more meals. Trust me, you'll be glad for them. This dish is amazing!!

Before I go, I just wanted to remind everyone about our Recipe Challenge for May. Scrap a page with my recipe and link to it in this blog post for a chance to win a gift certificate to Jennifer's shop!!

The recipe again:

Two papers
Three SQUARE framed photos (a simple stroke will count as a frame--it's my go to frame on most pages!)
Two ribbons/ric rac/strings
Four staples (or other metal fasteners)
One bead/sequin/glitter spill
Stitched or doodled border
One alpha
Two flowers (or stars for the flower-phobic)
One button

Optional seasonings:
Word strips
Paint spill/brush strokes

Stir together--bake and show me what you've made by the end of the month for that chance to win!!!

Until next time!!



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As a creative team member for several digital scrapbook designers, I have received their products for free in return for creating and posting projects (digital layouts, hybrids projects, etc). Many of the layouts you see here were done in conjunction with requirements for these creative teams. Please be advised that the products used were indeed received for free.

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