Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Zucchini & Sausage Carbonara


As I mentioned yesterday, I am loving Jaime Oliver's iPhone app, called "20 Minute Meals". This was the first recipe I tried from it & it was delicious. Super easy to make too, but tastes like it took a lot longer...like something you'd get in a fancy Italian restaurant.
While the meals claim to take 20 minutes to prepare, for most home cooks out there, it will take a bit longer. Even myself, who cooks often, is not all that speedy in the kitchen & all the chopping takes more time...but it's still a great weeknight dinner.
This recipe can easily be adapted to suit your taste. You can make the pasta alone with nothing else, but the bacon, cheese & egg {a more traditional carbonara}, or sub in your favorite vegetable. It was a great all-in-one dinner. But, the pasta alone was equally fantastic!
As a side note...the first time I had sausage prepared this way {rolled into little meatballs}, was when my brother {a real chef} made them for paella {it was unbelievable...like everything he makes}. I thought it was the most brillant idea! My kids love sausage. They love meatballs. And, I thought to myself...wow, this would be so much easier than making traditional mini meatballs. Well, since then, I have yet to make them. Until now...The Bozos loved 'em!

Begin by cooking 1 pound of spaghetti {or any pasta} in a large pot of salted water, according to the package instructions.
While the pasta cooks, start the rest of the dish. Slice 2 medium zucchini into quarters lengthwise & then into small chunks. Set aside.

Then, cut 4 slices of bacon into small strips. Set aside. Cut a slit down 6 links of Italian sausage & remove the casing.

Roll the sausage into small balls, about 1" in diameter.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs & cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until evenly browned.
Add the zucchini & bacon to the skillet & cook until the bacon is nice & crispy. Turn off the heat.

Into a large mixing bowl, add 4 large egg yolks & 1 cup of heavy cream. Beat with a whisk, until combined.

Add the zest of 1 lemon,

a 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, and 2 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese.

Whisk it up some more.
When the spaghetti is cooked, scoop out a cup of the cooking water & drain the pasta. Using tongs add the hot spaghetti to the mixing bowl with the sauce. The heat from the pasta will cook & thicken the eggs.

Add the pasta & sauce to the skillet with the meatballs & toss to combine. Add a little of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce, if desired. Taste & season with a bit of salt & freshly ground pepper.
Serve with a sprinkle of the leftover Parmesan on top.

Zucchini & Sausage Carbonara

Adapted from Jaime Oliver's 20 Minute Meals
Serves 6

6 Italian sausages {mild, or spicy}
4 slices bacon, sliced
1 pound spaghetti
4 large egg yolks
2 medium zucchini
1 cup heavy cream
grated zest of 1 lemon
4 ounces grated Parmesan Cheese {divided}
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
olive oil

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water, according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, begin preparing the rest of the dish.
Trim the ends off the zucchini. Slice in quarters lengthwise & then into small chunks. Heat a large skillet over medium heat & add a tablespoon of olive oil. Slit the sausages & remove the casing. Roll the sausage into small balls, about 1" in diameter. Add the meatballs to the skillet & cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until evenly browned. Add the zucchini & bacon to the skillet & cook until the bacon is crisp. Turn off the heat.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, cream, lemon zest, parsley & 2 ounces of the grated Parmesan. When the spaghetti is cooked, scoop out a cup of the cooking water & drain the pasta. Using tongs add the hot spaghetti to the mixing bowl with the sauce. The heat from the pasta will cook & thicken the eggs. Add the pasta & sauce to the skillet with the meatballs & toss to combine. Add a little of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce, if desired. Taste & season with a bit of salt & freshly ground pepper.
Serve with a sprinkle of the leftover Parmesan on top.
Click here for the printable recipe.

5 comments:

laurie said...

I love carbonara and this looks excellent!! Im going to make this for sure! Great post! :)

Janice said...

Wow that looks delicious!

Susanna said...

I am making that.....looks so yummy!

Karen said...

Oh, man... it's only 9:30 in the morning here and I want this for lunch! I like the idea of rolling sausage into balls. This is going on my to-make list! Great pics, too :)

suzybananas said...

that looks tasty!

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