Zucchini Noodle Pasta Carbonara
I've been meaning to make a "zoodle" pasta carbonara for some time now. I wasn't sure if I wanted to use zucchini as the base for the noodles or carrot. You could even try a butternut squash with this silky, smooth sauce. Zucchini was perfect, but the others mentioned would also be great. If you don't have a large spiralizer, you could also use a vegetable peeler with a julienne blade. I have the Paderno Spiralizer with four blades and I can't say enough how much I love it! If you don't have either of these "zoodle-making" pies of equipment, you could also get our your chef knife, cut the zucchini into thin strips, and then cut those into thiner yet strands to achieve zoodle bliss. Any which way will do.
My go-to broccoli recipe is always the same: roasted with either citrus zest of if I choose to eat it, parmesan, or just olive oil. There's something about roasted broccoli that's so simple yet so good. I remember the first time I had it. A wine rep had taken me to lunch at a Greek restaurant that was "known" for their broccoli. I was shocked by how good it was. And how obvious and easy! It was one of those "why didn't I think of this before" moments. ANYhooo, now it's a staple in our house. We usually make at least two heads, sometimes three. It's awesome cold the next day or even mixed into scrambled eggs. There's really no such thing as "too much delicious broccoli" after all. If you don't already, start roasting your broccoli!
- 2 heads broccoli
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pound of bacon (I use sugar-free, but you can use whichever you prefer)
- 1 1/2 pound zucchini
- 1 white onion
- 1 shallot
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 head parsley
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the broccoli into florets. Slice the stems in half inch pieces. Zest the lemon and toss all of it together with the olive oil. I say two tablespoons here, but depending on your broccoli you may need more. I will say it's a substantial amount. I used to skimp on the olive oil, thinking I was saving myself the fat and calories. In the end though, I discovered it's so much better (and worth it) if each broccoli piece is nice and coated. They get crispier - you'll be glad you did it.
Cut the bacon into small pieces. If it's too tricky to cut, and slides around the board, use scissors and cut it into chunks. I found this awesome bacon at Whole Foods that doesn't have sugar! Regardless of the sugar content, I really like it. I swear it has more flavor and spices than normal bacon. The only downside I see with it is that rather than the normal pound sizing, this one comes in half pound increments. But it's worth it! Buy it! Eat it! Love it!
Cook the bacon until it's somewhat crispy but not burnt. When it's cooked through to your liking, (Sean, for instance always leaves his bacon a lot chewier than me - it's all personal preference here.) take out the bacon bits and set aside. Pour off all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat. (I save this in a can for later use. It's such a tasty way to make scrambled eggs for breakfast!)
Spiralize your zucchini however you see fit. I used the spiralizer on the second to largest setting so it was more like a "thick spaghetti". I liked having them a little bit "al dente" in the sense that they weren't completely cooked through and still noticeably a vegetable. Either way, get them all noodled out and make a big pile or throw them into a bowl.
Slice the shallot into thin strips, mince the garlic, chop the parsley leaves, and cut the onion into a small dice. (Try not to cry on that last one.) Toss the onion, garlic, and shallot into the sauté pan with the bacon fat. Cook them for a minute or three until they're nice and soft and not completely browned yet.
Open the can of coconut milk. Scoop out the top half, the solid part and add it to the sautéing aromatics. It should gently melt through, looking and acting essentially like heavy cream. (But so much tastier!)
Add the bacon back in. Give it a good stir. Next, add in the nutritional yeast. (If you're not a high nutritional yeast fan, or you prefer cheese, you could add in Parmesan or any other shreddable sharp cheese.)
Grate pepper in to taste and add in the chopped parsley. Pour the rest of the can of coconut milk (the watery part now) into the sauce. This should loosen it a bit. Beat the two eggs in a bowl. Ladle in a full ladle of the sauce and mix well. Add in one more. Now you can pour the egg mixture back into the pan on the stove without scrambling the eggs. (If we just put the eggs straight into the sauté pan, it would instantly start cooking the eggs. Tempering the eggs creates more of a custard, creamy sauce rather than cooked egg.)
Drop the zucchini noodles into the sauce. Cook them for about five minutes until they change to a darker deeper green color.
Pull the broccoli from the oven. It should be crispy and lemony and delicious. Try to stop yourself from eating it all off the pan right now. (It's at this point I have to physically remove my mom from the kitchen as she has a weakness for all things green. And roasted. And delicious.)