Missing Rome – Pasta Carbonara with Zucchini

September 14, 2020  •  Cooking for One (or Two), Pasta & Pizza

This is the first year in at least a decade that I haven’t been to Italy. The first year that, thanks to the pandemic, I had to cancel my cooking trip to Italy with guests. Although I’m grateful my family is healthy, and that all of my kids are still employed, I am pining for Italy, especially for some of my favorite pasta recipes from my favorite city in the world, Rome.It’s zucchini season here in Colorado, and those seem to come faster than I can use them. I’ve found that a simple way to cook them is to spiralize them, sauté them for just a minute or two, then incorporate them into pasta classics. At Nonna Betta in the Jewish Ghetto in Rome they serve a vegetarian riff on classic carbonara that uses zucchini instead of pancetta. I made a version that uses both – kind of the best of both worlds to me.Up next, Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe with Zucchini.

Want to join me in Italy for an adventure of a lifetime? I’ve rescheduled this year’s trip for October, 2021 and we’d love to have you join us! Details here.

Pasta Carbonara with Zucchini
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
  • 4 ounces pasta of choice (spaghetti, bucatini, or egg noodles work well)
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced small
  • 1 medium zucchini, spiralized or julienned
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the pancetta until browned, then drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes to slightly soften; remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk the eggs and cheese together then stir quickly into the zucchini. Add the cooked pasta and enough pasta cooking water to make a light sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.


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