Has anyone ever noticed how zucchini season is kind of like that stampede in The Lion King where Simba and his dad are standing in the middle of the desert, arguing about the fact that Simba went into hyena territory. It’s absolutely silent, the calm before the storm if you will, and then all of a sudden five thousand wildebeests are rushing towards them ready to trample if necessary?
Really. One minute you’re standing in the middle of the supermarket or Farmer’s Market or CSA pick-up spot or even your own garden saying, “Gosh, I really wish those summer squash would ripen already.”
And then you go back the next week and they are EVERYWHERE. And not only are they everywhere, but they are local and so cheap that you feel compelled, obligated even, to buy them. What business do you have purchasing eggplant or peppers for $2+ a pound when zucchini are only 50 cents! Not only that, but you think, Heck this only comes around once a year, I’d better take advantage of it while I can!
But those little suckers are tricky. Because they stick around. Week. After week. After week. And then after your third week of eating nothing but zucchini omelets, zucchini pancakes, zucchini bread, etc., when you’ve just started to have nightmares of King Kong-sized summer squash thundering down the streets of Manhattan ready to take over the world, you come across this recipe for zucchini carbonara. And you are reminded that maybe, just maybe, this veggie is just a little misunderstood, the Holden Caulfield of the produce world, and isn’t so mal-intended after all.
Serves 4, adapted from Jamie Oliver and Closet Cooking
1 lb whole wheat penne
2 lb zucchini, chopped into penne-sized bits
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk or 1/2 cup half and half total if you don’t want to decrease the fat)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 slices turkey bacon, cut into small pieces
1. Set up the water for the pasta.
2. Fry the bacon in a non-stick skillet. When it starts to get crispy, add in the zucchini as well as salt and pepper to taste.
3. Mix the egg yolks, parmesan cheese, and milk(s) in a bowl.
4. When it is done, drain the penne, reserving some of the water. Slowly pour 1/4 cup of the water into the egg mixture, whisking very rapidly to temper the mixture. Repeat.
5. Mix the zucchini/bacon mix into the pasta and then mix in the egg sauce. Toss to coat. Top with parmesan cheese when serving.
Also, I keep forgetting to do this but check out the roundup for The Edible Word (remember my scones!) over at A Blithe Palate. There are some excellent treats, all of which were inspired by Confections of A Master Baker.