It’s SUMMAHTIME where I am ya’ll. And it is really, really, really hot. Do people know how hot it is in Australia? Where I live we’re just outside of the Tropic of Capricorn. It’s boiling.
I’m a cold weather person. I burn just thinking about the sun. If a Gringo is a pale foreigner from an English speaking country then I’m the Gringo-est Gringo that ever Gringo-ed. But sometimes, in the name of carpe diem-ing, we must make a virtue out of necessity and hit that sunshine up for a little alfresco dining.
This is my totally non-traditional, non-italian, non-anything take on a summer time carbonara. Sweet peas, raw zucchini, a little white wine and some lemon juice join the carbonara regulars of smoky pork and egg yolks. I also add a little cream, and I’m just using regular ol’ smoky bacon instead of pancetta or the real deal guanciale.
So this is my Gringo carbonara. I might not be great at naming things.
But I’m great at cooking things! This was a total winner enjoyed in the early evening sunshine, with a cold drink and good conversation. Of course, we were boiling hot, and I was wearing an inch-thick layer of SPF 50, but we did it! Carpe diem! #YOLO! Other sayings!
It was fun pretending we were on some Italian terrace, overlooking the glittering Mediterranean. I realise that for a lot of people the sparkling Australian sunshine is probably like heaven. So, I’m grateful.
It’s easy to be grateful when I get to wallow in every luscious, subtly cheesy, bright and lemony mouthful of this carbonara. The raw zucchini tossed through at the end adds a fresh note, and the peas are little pops of sweetness in between the richly coated spaghetti. Smoky bacon makes everything better, and the egg and cream and cheese that make up the sauce bring everything silkily together.
Pasta makes even the hottest days bearable.
How’s the weather in your part of the world? It looks like so many of you in the US are having blizzards and snowstorms at the moment. Thanks Polar Vortex! HOT TIP: if you swapped out the lemon and zucchini in this, and replaced them with some slowly browned onions, it would be the perfect winter warmer of a supper.
I guess carbonara cures all ills!
- 4 rashers streaky bacon
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup frozen peas
- zest of ½ a lemon
- splosh of white wine, or vermouth
- 1 egg + 2 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup (80ml) cream
- ½ cup (50g) parmesan, finely grated
- salt and pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 250g spaghetti
- Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.
- Chop the bacon into small strips and cook the strips in a pan big enough to take the pasta later, until they are beginning to become golden.
- Finely slice the garlic and add it to the pan along with the lemon zest and cook for a few seconds.
- Add the peas to the pan and cook until the chill is taken off them. Splash in the wine and let it bubble until it's just a syrupy coating on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- Mix together the egg and egg yolks, cream, parmesan, a little salt and lots of pepper in a small bowl.
- Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater.
- Throw the pasta in to cook.
- When the pasta is ready drain it and toss it immediately into the pan with the bacon and peas (not on the heat), and then add the cream mixture and toss well until the whole mixture is amalgamated, and the sauce is thickened and coating the noodles. Toss through the grated zucchini at the last minute and serve.