Whole Wheat Linguine Carbonara with Summer Squash and Basil

Carbonara pasta is a beautiful thing. It has all the richness of an Alfredo, but with more flavor – and this is key – a fraction of the prep time. I like to take whatever mild CSA veggies are around and throw them in. But be warned, vegetables and whole wheat pasta do not make this dish healthy, just delicious. Here’s my version:

1/2 lb whole wheat linguine
2-3 small squash, thinly sliced
1 T chopped garlic
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 C finely grated Pecorino Romano, more for sprinkling
5 slices bacon
1 T finely sliced fresh basil

Put a large pot of water on to boil. In a frying pan, cook bacon until crispy and set aside. Whisk eggs with pepper to taste and grated cheese. Crumble bacon. At this point you might want to wait until your water is boiling and your pasta is partly cooked. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.

Reserve 1 T of bacon grease, heat to medium high. Add garlic and squash and saute until squash is just starting to soften. Don’t overcook it. Overcooked squash is icky. Drain your fully cooked pasta, and add to the pan with the bacon, tossing to distribute the oil and vegetables. Remove from heat and add the egg mixture, tossing constantly so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. Top with fresh basil and a sprinkling of cheese if desired.

This is another one of my presto-chango recipes. The squash could easily be switched out for asparagus, spinach, chard, arugula (this is awesome, btw), or any other mild, softer veggie. Or mix them up and make it a primavera carbonara!

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