Summer Spaghetti Carbonara
with bacon / asparagus / squash
Once you've mastered this classic, creamy Italian dish at home, you'll find opportunities to make all sorts of variations. We've added a few seasonal vegetables to our version that was a summer favorite in 2016.
Smarts: The key to a creamy carbonara sauce is working quickly. The raw eggs gently cook as soon as they come in contact with the hot pasta. Check out this short video to see how it's done!
- Cheese, parmesan - 3 oz, grated
- Bacon - 8 slices, chopped
- Squash, any variety - 1/2 lb, cubed (like zucchini or yellow squash)
- Asparagus - 1/2 lb, ½” / 1.3cm pieces
- Peas, frozen or fresh - 1 cup
- Eggs - 2
- Lemon zest - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Pasta, spaghetti or linguini - 8 oz
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Cheese / Bacon - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Squash / Asparagus - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Peas - If using frozen peas, defrost in the microwave. If using fresh, cover with a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave until tender, 2 to 3 minutes on high.
- Make sauce - Whisk eggs, cheese and lemon zest together. (You want this sauce ready to go so that it can be tossed with pasta just after it finishes cooking.)
- Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil. If you've never made carbonara before, check out this video.
- While water boils, heat a large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Add squash and asparagus with a pinch of salt. Saute until vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Reserve 1/4 cup (59 mL) of pasta water (amount is for 4 servings, adjust accordingly).
- While pasta cooks, add chopped bacon to heated skillet and saute until bacon is crisp, 6 to 7 minutes.
- Add reserved pasta water to bacon and then turn off heat. (This is important - if the burner is on when you add eggs, they will scramble instead of turning saucy.)
- Working quickly so that the pasta stays hot, drain pasta and add to skillet. Pour egg sauce over hot pasta and toss vigorously with tongs or two forks at least 20 times, until eggs form a creamy sauce. (The eggs will cook as you toss them in.)
- Stir in squash, asparagus and peas.
- Transfer pasta to a serving dish. Top with fresh cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
Love all the veggies and the light version without cream and butter. I would just dice the zucchini smaller.0 Helpful
Used turkey bacon. Next time I will reserve a bit more pasta water. Left out lemon rind. Reheating leftovers, I will add some broth. So good!0 Helpful
Came together easily and loved all the flavor0 Helpful
It was really good !! Should have added a bit more salt probably but otherwise, a great meal ! And not that heavy feeling of the usual heavy cream carbonara. Here, it still feels like a light meal and i actually love the lemon zest in the recipe !0 Helpful
Too easy and good flavors! This will stay on the menu for a quick go to dinner.0 Helpful
I had a dinner party over this recipe and it got rave reviews0 Helpful