We are just back from a visit to Lake Garda, stunning scenery, amazing food and 12 days of work free bliss. I have a dream that some day I might spend more of my days enjoying La Dolce Far niente but in the meantime the memories of stunning scenery, delicious food, local markets as well as the extra few pounds and 23 mossie bites I brought home with me, live on.
The markets in Verona were full of courgettes and various other squash which inspired this recipe for a summer time carbonara. Use a gluten free pasta if you can as the flavour of the vegetables and the carbonara sauce more then mask the slightly sluggish taste of the pasta.
Summer vegetable carbonara
6 slices of pancetta cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbasp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 clove of garlic peeled chopped and mashed
8 oz courgette or other squash of choice cut into long slices about 2″ each
1 large red pepper deseeded and cut into long strips
4 oz mascarpone whipped and loosened with a further 4 tbsp olive oil
1oz Parmesan grated
1 lb Spaghetti or Linguine – preferable gluten free
Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil.
Cook the pancetta over a medium heat until crisp about 5 minutes.
Pour off most of the fat which renders, add 2 tbsp oil and cook shallot and garlic until they soften about 5 minutes.
Add the peppers and courgette and cook, stirring occasionally until tender.
Season well, remove from the heat and keep warm.
Cook the pasta according to instructions until al dente.
Drain reserving some of the pasta water and put the pasta back into the pasta pot.
Add the peppers and courgette and gently mix toegher.
Add the mascarpone mix and using 2 large forks bring the pasta and veg through the mixture.
Add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen, add the grated Parmesan and bring to the table to serve.