March 27, 2008

pasta weather

A major heatwave in Melbourne last week, a wintry 11 degrees last night! A warming dish of high-carb pasta was definitely appropriate. This is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe from....??. The thing is, when you work in a public library (or used to), you see all the lovely new cookbooks come in. You rush out and buy the ones you just have to have, but the rest you photocopy a few dishes from and stash the pages away with the rest of your (enormous collection of) loose recipes. This one might be from his latest book Jamie at home but I'm not sure...

Zucchini carbonara (serves 4)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 small zucchini
500g penne
4 large free-range egg yolks
100ml cream
2 good handfuls grated Parmesan cheese
12 thick slices pancetta or bacon
small bunch thyme, leaves picked

Place egg yolks in a bowl with the cream and half the parmesan and mix together with a fork.

Add bacon to a large cold non-stick frying pan, place over high heat and cook until brown and crisp. Remove, drain on paper towels and roughly chop.

Wash and dry zucchini and slice thinly. Add to the hot pan containing the bacon fat with 2 large pinches of black pepper and sprinkle in the thyme leaves. Fry until golden on both sides and slightly softened.

Meanwhile cook pasta in plenty of salted boiling water and drain, reserving a little of the cooking liquid. Tip pasta back into the pot with the zucchini and bacon and stir over the heat for a few seconds to reheat the bacon. Remove from the heat (no more cooking or the eggs will scramble)and add the egg yolk mixture together with a little of the reserved pasta water. Stir together quickly and serve topped with remaining parmesan.

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