Zucchini and mushroom carbonara with fresh basil
For an easy, delicious dinner recipe, look no further. This creamy zucchini and mushroom carbonara is a great vegetarian weeknight dinner.
I had one of those days yesterday. You know the kind. I had a crap-ton (that’s an actual measurement) of stuff on my to-do list and then I woke up to two sick kids and a sick husband. And just like that, my busy day became insane. So insane in fact that I landed up doing exactly nothing. Because between taking them all to the doctor and catching up on my admin, I was left with exactly 13 minutes in the afternoon and you know what I chose to do? Play Two Dots on my phone whilst lying on my bed. I’m so efficient you guys.
So when dinner time came around, I knew I wanted something quick, something easy and something filled with vegetables to get my family back up to strength. Let’s face it, that’s not a very hard thing to accomplish, especially considering how vegetables have been the star of most of our meals for the last couple of months. I find the times I cook meat, it’s for a special meal or something super quick like a few strips of bacon in a pan to crisp up for a salad or quick pasta or chicken breasts, bashed until they’re nice and thin and quickly grilled to be served with salad.
I just don’t have that big of an appetite for meat on a daily basis anymore. Let’s get real though, I’m not about to turn vegetarian but I have fallen more and more in love with vegetables over the last year. So whipping up a tasty dish revolving around vegetables is a pretty easy task for me lately.
I decided to quickly fry some sliced mushrooms and zucchini with garlic before adding some eggs mixed with cream, a squeeze of lemon juice and finishing it off with a generous grind of white pepper for a quick and easy carbonara of sorts. I could’ve actually eaten it just like that it was so bloody delicious but I tipped in some al dente penne and finished it off with a little of the pasta’s cooking water to add extra creaminess. A little fresh basil to top and hey presto. Simple, delicious, nutritious(-ish) pasta in less than 20 minutes. Who’s winning now?
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 250g mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large zucchini, halved then sliced into 1cm pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup cream
- juice of ½ lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- 500g cooked penne pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water
- handful fresh basil leaves
- Heat a large frying pan over high heat then add the olive oil.
- Add the mushrooms and fry until golden brown then add the zucchini and fry for another 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and allow to cook for 30 seconds. Take off the heat.
- Whisk the eggs with the cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked pasta to the vegetables then pour in the egg mixture, working quickly stir to coat the pasta and vegetables in the sauce. The residual heat in the pan will cook the egg but continue stirring or else you'll land up with bits of cooked egg in your sauce. Add a little splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce.
- Top with the fresh basil and serve.