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Playing Carbonara with Zucchini and Potato


  • Salt
  • 1 Russet potato, peeled and quartered lengthwise then cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
  • 1 pound spaghetti or bucatini
  • 1/4 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 pound meaty guanciale or pancetta, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped or 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 small spring zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced or 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded with a spoon then thinly sliced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 large Araucana or organic brown egg yolks
  • 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon zest, juice of 1/2 plus thinly sliced lemon zest to serve
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to serve


Serves: 4 to 6


Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt water and add potatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes, remove with spider or slotted spoon to a cold water bath; drain and dry. Add pasta to water to boil. Toss pasta with tongs occasionally and cook 7-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add guanciale or pancetta and render 3 minutes. Add onions or shallots and swirl a minute; add zucchini, dried potatoes, salt, pepper and thyme, and toss 5 minutes. Add garlic and toss a minute or two more.

Beat egg yolks in a bowl then slowly add 1 cup of starchy, boiling pasta cooking water while whisking to temper.
Drain pasta and turn off heat under the potatoes and zucchini. Add tempered egg yolks to the pan along with the pasta, lemon zest and juice. Toss, add cheeses and toss again, adjusting salt and pepper to taste.  Serve pasta in shallow bowls topped with thinly sliced lemon zest and a little crushed red flakes to garnish.



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