Courgettes are wonderfully versatile and during summer I always have some in – I love finding new things to do with them and while I have lots of recipes pairing them with pasta, using them in ribbon form is quite different. So pretty too.
The starting point was Felicity Cloake’s courgette carbonara recipe but I have tweaked things a bit. I found her recipe too rich and creamy, so reduced the cheese content while upping the lemon flavour and adding a pinch of chilli flakes.
If you feel like tweaking it further, the only thing I’d say is to keep the red onion in – I did a batch without and it was definitely not as good as when it is added. Extra vegetable content too.
Courgette Carbonara (serves 2)
175-200g spaghetti or linguine
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ a small red onion, thinly sliced (or use a large shallot)
2 small courgettes, thinly sliced lengthways (a flat peeler is the easiest way to do this)
a pinch of chilli flakes
2 eggs (small/medium)
75g pecorino and/or parmesan, grated (i just used parmesan but carbonara often calls for a mix of the two)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon
a small handful of fresh mint or basil, torn
salt and black pepper
Cook your pasta until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium pan (it needs to be big enough for mixing the courgette and pasta together) and cook the onion until it has softened. Add the chilli flakes and courgettes and cook for a couple of minutes.
Beat together the eggs with most of the cheese, the lemon zest, a generous amount of black pepper and a little salt, reserving a little cheese to garnish.
Drain the cooked pasta, but not too thoroughly, then tip into the courgette pan and toss together until well mixed. take the pan off the heat, add the egg mix and herbs. Stir together until the sauce thickens then serve immediately, garnished with the remaining cheese.