Zucchini and Bacon Carbonara Recipe

Zucchini and Bacon Carbonara


  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • a small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped.
  • 2 green medium courgettes or zucchinis depending on where you are from.
  • 500g penne (a tube like pasta)
  • 4 large free-range egg yolks
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 good handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • 6 good slices of smoked streaky bacon, cut into chunky strips.

How to make Zucchini and Bacon Carbonara

  1. Put the penne pasta on to boil, adding a pinch of salt will make it boil faster.
  2. While this is cooking you can prepare the creamy carbonara sauce. Separate the egg yokes in to a bowl, add the cream and half the parmesan and mix together, you should get a gooey consistency. Save it for later.
  3. Cut the bacon in to long strips, leave in a little fat but make them mostly lean. Add a dash of oil to a wide pan and when heated add in the strips. Chop the zucchinis into circles and then half. When the bacon releases it's juices it's time to add in the zucchinis as they will take on the flavour. Keep frying until the zucchinis brown.
  4. By now you should find that the penne is soft, drain most of the water but leave a shallow puddle remaining in the pan. Add the creamy sauce and the remaining hot water will melt the cheese, this also enables you not to scramble the egg yolks on the bottom of the pan.
  5. The bacon and zucchini should now be cooked, mix it in too and add more cheese and cream until you have the consistency you like.
  6. Serve with a fresh green salad, some lemonade and enjoy.

Other Tips
If your cooking on a budget Parmesan can be quite expensive. To get over this hurdle purchase parmesan flakes as a third of the cheese quantity and grated edam for the other two thirds, you still maintain a smoky taste.

I find zucchinis to be a really boring, bland vegetable but they are amazing at socking up other flavours if they exist. It's important not to go overboard on the veggies as they compliment the bacon and balance the colour. You could easily replace the zucchini with green peppers or even asparagus.

Real Carbonara in Italy doesn't include any cream they do it with all with eggs!
How do you make yours?

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