Some classic pasta dishes we cannot let go of — like carbonara. With the toasted bits of pancetta caught between the pasta, creamy eggs combined with Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecorino cheeses, and an abundant sprinkling of black pepper… Sigh. It’s a whole world of deliciousness.
Sure, it is not easy on the calories, but if you want to at least cut the carbs, then replace the pasta with zoodles, or zucchini noodles, and retain the rest of the ingredients. The result is still an amazing, creamy dish.
Carbonara is a Roman dish created in the 20th century. It gained its popularity worldwide for its simplicity and excellent flavors of pancetta, eggs, cheese and pepper. Just don’t forget to sprinkle it with as much freshly cracked black pepper as you can handle, because as the name suggests, the black pepper should be reminiscent of charcoal. “Carbonara” comes from the word “carbonaro,” which means “coal burner,” and in one of the theories about its history, it is said that the dish is a tribute to the Italian coal workers.
Carbonara with zucchini noodles recipe
Since pancetta and zucchini are delicious partners, zucchini noodles replace the pasta while still retaining the genuine carbonara sauce mixed with it.
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/8 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan), grated
- 1/8 cup pecorino Romano, grated (If you cannot find this, just replace with more Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- 4 ounces pancetta (can be replaced with bacon), diced
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 large zucchini, ends removed, sliced into noodles with a spiral vegetable slicer or julienne slicer
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, Parmigiano and pecorino until creamy. Set aside.
- In a small, dry saucepan over medium heat, toast the pancetta. When crunchy, set it aside.
- At the same time, in a large saucepan with olive oil over medium heat, sauté the zucchini until cooked through and starting to turn brownish at the edges.
- To a large bowl, transfer the zucchini, and then pour in the creamy egg mixture and the pancetta. Sprinkle with an abundant amount of pepper. Mix well, and serve immediately.
Note: The egg mixture should be mixed away from the heat to avoid cooking the eggs. The eggs should cook slowly with the heat of the zucchini and should remain creamy.