lemony zucchini carbonara with chilli

lemony zucchini carbonara

zucchini carbonara

I’m a massive fan of carbonara and have thoroughly enjoyed playing around making vegetarian recipes for it. This one is based on my lemony spinach carbonara which I am besotted with, but in both cases gianciale could be added it you felt it needed that bacon edge.

I developed this recipe and did few shots for Earthbound Wines, the only South Africa label that is organic and fair trade. You can check out the ostrich kebabs I did on Monday where I’m still giving away a hamper of organic products valued at R2000. Quickly click to enter.

lemony zucchini carbonara

Spring is here and I cant wait to sink my teeth into stone fruit and eat fabulous crunchy salads. I’ve been struck with a nasty flu bug this week which I have struggled with more emotionally than physically and my body is craving nutritious fruit and vegetables. It looks as though I’m on the mend, so I’m heading off for a fabulous travel blogging week end away at a luxury wine estate. I will try and pretend that I havent lost a week with a to-do list so long I’m afraid of Monday. I cant wait to share my experience and photos.

This lemony zucchini carbonara is a quick and easy recipe to whip up in the middle of the week. You could replace the parsely with basil and add more of any of the elements to suit your taste.

lemony zucchini carbonara with chilli


  • 250g pasta (optional gluten free)
  • 2T olive oil
  • 3 cups thinly sliced zucchini
  • ½ - 1 red chilli finely chopped (or a pinch of dried chilli flakes)
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100ml crème fraiche
  • Zest of a large lemon, 2 small lemons
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
  • 1T chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to manufacturers in instructions. Make sure it’s very al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the zucchini and chili for a few minutes, tossing and shaking the pan. When this is cooked set aside.
  3. Get all the other ingredients ready.
  4. When the pasta is al dente, drain reserving 100ml of the cooking liquid. Put the pasta back in the pot with the liquid (off the heat). Add the egg and stir to incorporate. Add all the other ingredients – including the zucchini, stir and put the lid on. This will heat everything through. Adjust seasoning; it needs a good few grinds of black pepper.
  5. Serve immediately with more grated Parmesan.

lemony zucchini carbonara with chilli

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21 Responses to lemony zucchini carbonara with chilli

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

    Gorgeous, I’m all for a vegetarian version of carbonara!

  2. Tieghan September 27, 2014 at 4:14 am #

    I am such a fan of veggies pastas like this. So pretty and totally delicious!

  3. Gemma Biosca September 27, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    Hi!! Love this recipe….I love vegetarian recipes instead of others…so this would be nice to prepare for my lunch at the office.
    Today I discovered your blog and it was a nice thing today…..big kiss from Barcelona (Spain) and thanks for sharing !

  4. Sam September 28, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Thnaks Gemma 🙂

  5. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence September 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    Mmmm, this looks so creamy and delicious. I know you’re going for a vegetarian version here, but I’d probably add bacon to mine 😉 Or perhaps pancetta!

  6. D. EDWARDS September 29, 2014 at 1:13 am #

    I made this when we got back from the grocery this evening. Its so fantastic! I’m so used to cooking with flavours that smack you in the mouth! The flavours i got from this where so delicate and bright!

  7. Sam September 29, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Im so glad, thanks for letting me know 🙂

  8. Jess September 30, 2014 at 3:26 am #

    This had just made it on to this weeks dinner menu. I was looking for a non tomato based pasta that wasn’t too heavy and this looks perfect. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

  9. Sam September 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    Please let me know how it goes Jess.


  10. DessertForTwo September 30, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    This pasta sounds fantastic! I love that you made carbonara slightly healthier with the addition of vegetables. And I have to say, I’m a bit jealous of your upcoming spring. We’re about to head into winter. :/

  11. Thalia @ butter and brioche October 1, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    This pasta looks amazing Sam! Whenever I make pasta, it never turns out as good looking as this. You have definitely inspired me to recreate the recipe.. hopefully I have some luck!

  12. Julie @ This Gal Cooks October 1, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Beautiful photos! LOVE this vegetarian version of a classic. Looks great. 🙂

  13. Sam October 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Thanks Julie

  14. Sam October 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi Thalia, everything you make is beautiful! everything. PS – maybe it does help a liiiittttle bit that I am a food stylist. Maybe?

    Sam x

  15. Sam October 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    But you have snow? so that balances everything out in my opinion.

  16. Jill October 1, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    this looks SO fresh and delicious! making tonight 🙂


  17. Flavoured with Love October 2, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Your Pasta looks so delicious. Wonderful recipe. I will definitely give it a try.

  18. Sam October 3, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Thanks Flavoured with love 🙂

  19. Sam October 3, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Awesome Jill, let me know how it goes.

  20. Vicky November 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    Wow, this dish looks amazing, and such great photography too. I can’t believe I have only just discovered your blog. So many new things to get cooking. First on the list is this dish!

  21. Sam November 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    Thanks Vicky and I hope you enjoyed it too. Sam

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