The Carbonara is one of the all time classics of Italian cuisine. It’s a very simple dish, but I find it is very difficult to find done well, not just in international restaurants, but also in Italian restaurants too. Whilst I was doing a work experience placement in Tuscany I made Carbonara everyday. The creamy sauce is really just 2 ingredients: Egg Yolk and Parmesan, seasoned with Salt and freshly ground Pepper if you like, but nothing else. There is certainly no Cream in a Carbonara, and never let anyone tell you otherwise! Italian cuisine really focuses on the quality of the Ingredients so bare that in mind when purchasing your Eggs, Parmesan and Courgettes.
This is a version I made last summer for a couple of people who for various reasons were not eating gluten. It was a big hit, and it’s a dish I love to make for myself, as well as for others, in the summer when there are so many wonderful colourful Courgettes (Zucchinis) available. I do tend to have it with a couple of pieces of Focaccia though!
2 medium Courgettes, if you can get your hands on the yellow variety choose one yellow and one green for a vibrant dish
2 Egg Yolks
Circa 35 g Parmesan
Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, optional
5 – 6 Basil Leaves
Top and tail your Courgettes, and then using a peeler peel down strips of Courgette lengthways on each side until you reach the seeded core. You should have strips that resemble Tagliatelle. The seeded core you can just snack on. It’s mostly just Water, so not ideal for heating in the frying pan.
Weigh your Egg Yolks. You will need the same weight in Parmesan. Mine were rather large Eggs, weighing 35 g in total, but anything between 25 g and 35 g is totally fine. Grate the appropriate amount of Parmesan and mix into the Egg Yolks in a medium sized bowl. Add a good splash of Water so that the mixture isn’t so thick.
Tear the Basil leaves roughly into smaller pieces and put one side.
Heat a medium frying pan, once it’s hot add a good glug of Olive Oil and then add in the Courgette Tagliatelle, stirring occasionally, and fry until it starts to wilt. Add a good pinch of salt, mix well, and then tip the Courgette into the Egg – Parmesan mixture. Mix the Courgette into the Egg with a wooden spoon, the Egg mixture will heat up and turn into a creamy sauce. Season to taste with Salt, and Pepper if you like. Add in the torn up Basil Leaves and serve straight away with some lovely Bread and a glass of White Wine.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.