When Monday starts with avocado zucchini carbonara pasta, you know it is going to be a good week.
As you guys know I am a firm believer in pasta…anyday, anytime. Hence, I see Monday as the perfect day for a healthier take on everyone’s favorite Italian pasta dish, carbonara. This pasta is creamy, cheesy, and loaded with avocado, which I am whole heartedly obsessed with…um see this sandwich, this salad, and this dip.
I’ve been dying to tell you guys about this recipe for so long now. Or okay, not so long, more like a couple of weeks, but I am just so excited about this recipe because it’s all of my favorite things.
Carbs. Cheese. Avocado. <–literally my favorites.
Another favorite? Weekends like the one I just had. Saturday started out pretty dreary, but thank God for my brother, Malachi. He forced me to have fun on Saturday night and forget about all my worries (been having some serious anxiety about things lately). If there’s one person in the world who can crack my shell it’s Kai, and I am so thankful for that. I spent Saturday night mixing drinks and having real conversions (meaning zero work talk) and it could not have been more needed.
Feeling happy to be back working today and ready to tell you guys all about this special carbonara.
OKAY. here’s how this pasta goes down. It’s pretty different from traditional carbonara, but it does have some of the same elements. An egg in the sauce, bacon, parmesan, and pasta.
–> boil up some pasta…I like using bucatini, I love it’s thicker size, but spaghetti is great too.
Important Note: be sure to reserve at least one cup of that pasta cooking water before draining off the pasta completely. The starchy pasta water is essential for making any good carbonara, including this avocado version.
–> make the sauce…unlike traditional carbonara, this sauce is a little more avocado based than egg based, which is why I LOVE this recipe so much. It’s incredibly creamy, but made healthier with all those good for you avocado fats.
–> crisp up some bacon…yes, bacon, every carbonara recipe has to have bacon (or prosciutto).
–> throw it all together…add the pasta, sauce, and some parmesan to the pan with all that bacon, toss it up and DONE.
Really though? My words can’t describe how much I am loving this carbonara recipe. I’ve already made it three times in the last month, and yes, we totally made this recipe into a video that’s coming very soon to Instagram …and then of course will be added to this blog post. When a recipe becomes a video, you know it’s a GOOD recipe. A recipe that I make over and over and over. One that my family loves, and one that I know you guys will love too.
All this said, there is one downside to this pasta.
The thing about pretty much any carbonara (avocado or no avocado), is that it’s best eaten right after making. The sauce is the perfect texture right off the stove, and with all the avocado in this recipe, letting it sit will allow the sauce to brown slightly.
That’s not to say your leftovers will not be great, but just a heads up, the pasta might brown a little. To help prevent this, drizzle a little lemon juice over before storing.
But then let’s be real…
Do you really think there’s going to be leftovers? Every time I have made this, it’s gone within minutes…and everyone finishes their plate. So yeah, probably not a leftover kind of recipe anyway.
Avocado Zucchini Carbonara
- 1 pound bucatini pasta
- 2 ripe, small to medium avocado, halved
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, plus more for serving
- kosher salt and pepper
- 6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
- 2 small zucchini, cut into ribbons
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.
2. In a blender, combine the avocado, egg, basil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. With the blender running, stream in about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and pulse until smooth and creamy.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and cook the bacon until crisp. Add the pasta, zucchini, thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes, to the skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until warmed though. Add the avocado sauce and parmesan, tossing well to combine. Continue to cook another 3-5 minutes, adding pasta water to thin the sauce as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in a handful of fresh herbs.
4. Divide the pasta among plates and top with parmesan and basil. Enjoy!
Monday night pasta? Yes, let’s to that.