Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Courgette Carbonara

Pasta carbonara is one of my favorite meals. A simple, fast, and utterly satisfying concoction, it is probably my number one comfort food. So I don't take all that kindly to recipes that mess with a good thing. Still, a few zucchini from the farmer's market were tempting me, and adding something a little green to my dinner probably wasn't the worst idea. So this Jamie Oliver recipe, a carbonara with the addition of zucchini and fresh thyme, seemed like a good fit.

Turns out that zucchini is a perfectly tasty companion for carbonara. My only real objection in this recipe's deviation from the original formula is the use of heavy cream—the carbonara crutch. Authentic pasta carbonara shouldn't contain cream at all; the silky texture ought to come from the egg yolks, cheese, and pasta cooking water, which combine with the hot pasta and melt (not scramble) into something unctuous and rich. I left it out of the recipe, and all was well.

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