At our house, we have a saying..."Don't yuk my yum!". We are trying to raise kids that aren't picky eaters by exposing them to many different kinds of food. It wasn't that long ago that one of my kids asked "Why can't you cook food like everyone else? Like tater tot hotdish?" The reason? It's not very healthy or creative and I think it's kind of gross. I don't cook like that. I like to use fresh, healthy ingredients to make great tasting good for you dishes. I've created this blog to share my favorite recipes with you.

Follow my kitchen adventures from using up vegetables from our weekly CSA box to baking and creative cooking.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Zucchini Carbonara

I love bacon.  If something has bacon in or on it, you can pretty much guarantee that I'm going to like it.  The thing with bacon is that it's really bad for you.  I've tried turkey bacon (it's okay, but it's not really bacon)  and low sodium bacon (again, it's okay), but what I really like is a good thick cut hickory smoked bacon.  Why do I go on about bacon today?  Spaghetti Carbonara.  At it's most basic, it's just bacon, pasta, eggs and cheese.  Delicious, but horribly unhealthy.  Definitely a "sometimes food".  Recently I discovered a recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara that cuts down (a little) on the bacon and cheese and adds in zucchini and onions for some extra nutrition.  I made this recipe quite a bit last summer when we had an abundance of zucchini and I made sure I froze a bunch of the veggies for use in this recipe through the winter.

Today, we had a problem in the barn:  frozen eggs.  It's been pretty chilly out and I wasn't home at noon to collect eggs and all four eggs the chickens laid today were frozen solid when they finally got collected after school.  Believe it or not, frozen eggs are actually still fine to use.  I have read that you shouldn't use them for baking, but for scrambled eggs or a recipe like Spaghetti Carbonara, they work perfectly. In fact, when I saw these eggs thawing on the counter, the first thing I thought of was "Yum, Carbonara!"

Zucchini Carbonara (Serves 4)
10 oz whole wheat spaghetti (regular spaghetti would work, too)
6 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion
1 large zucchini, sliced into thin ribbons or diced
1 T. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
3 eggs
shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions, undercooking by about a minute.  While the pasta cooks, heat a large saute pan over medium heat.  Cook the bacon until crispy.  Remove from pan to a paper towel.  Drain fat from pan.  Add onion, zucchini and garlic to the pan and cook about 5 minutes until soft and a little brown.  Add bacon back in with some salt and pepper, if desired. 

Drain the pasta, reserving a coffee cup of water.  Dump pasta into saute pan and toss to coat.  Stir in a little pasta water so the noodles aren't sticky.  Remove from heat and crack the eggs directly on the pasta, using tongs to toss for even distribution.  Serve with cheese. 

As you read this recipe, it may seem strange that you don't actually cook the eggs, but they do get cooked by the heat from the pan and the pasta.  If you have runny eggs, just turn the burner back on for a few minutes.  This recipe reheats well, not that we ever have any leftovers.

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