Courgette Carbonara – kinda.

After our yellow feast on Saturday night, I had a beautiful yellow courgette left over from our courgette and parmesan tarts.  I picked up this lovely legume in Fallon and Byrne, and although last month was really the right time to be eating them, they still tasted swell.

This afternoon, after a mercifully halfdayMonday, I was craving pasta for lunch.  This Jamie Oliver Courgette Carbonara which I’d seen on Lottie’s A Food Awakening a while back was what I thought of first.

However, I wanted something a little lighter and decided to alter the Carbonara recipe and make it a lighter mascarpone cheese based delight.

I can’t tell you whether my version of this is actually less calorific or whatever than Jamie’s.  It’s missing the eggs and double cream of the Carbonara but there is a whopping load of cheese in it so…perhaps it’s safe to say it’s the lesser of two evils.  Delicious evils at that.

What you need for Mascarpone Courgette Pasta for 2 lucky people

1 yellow/green courgette OR half a yellow and half a green, sliced and halved into half moon shapes

About 150g of bacon or pancetta – I used three regular auld rashers – cut into little cubes

1 clove of garlic, finely  chopped

1 heaped tablespoon of mascarpone cheese

About 25g of parmesan cheese, finely grated

About 200g of small pasta – penne or the twirly one, whatever you like really.  Although I’d always associate carbonara with spaghetti, I’d hold off on it because of the shape of the courgette.  I used macaroni as that’s what I had to hand.

Salt and pepper

Start off by putting a bit of oil in a pan over a medium to high heat and start frying your bacon.  You want it to fully cook before adding the courgettes, so wait til the pieces are nice and browned.

Although the bacon does give the dish a lot of flavour, providing you can get your hands on vegetarian Parmesan, I think a veggie version would work very nicely too as the garlic stops the courgettes from coming over all bland.

Meanwhile, put boiling water with salt and a bit of olive oil over a high heat and start cooking your pasta.

Once your bacon has browned, you can now add your courgettes to the pan.  You may need to add a little bit more oil, but be careful of over-drenching it as the courgettes will absorb all of that oil and get sickenly greasy if you over do it.

Keep the pan on a medium to high heat and stir from time to time until the courgettes are completely cooked through.  They will be translucent and totally soft.  This should take about 5 minutes.

At this point you can season with salt and pepper generously – the courgettes do need a helping hand, bless them.

At this point, add your garlic and continue to cook for another 3 minutes, stirring to avoid any burnings and to make sure the courgettes all get smothered in the garlicy goodness.

Drain you pasta and add to the pan with the courgettes and bacon.  Now you can spoon in your mascarpone cheese.  Stir it all around so that all the pasta is thoroughly coated.  Now you can add half of the parmesan cheese and make sure it’s fully dissolved into the somewhat creamy mixture.  The other half of the parmesan you can use to sprinkle over the top.

I had mine with a bit of quick garlic bread – a slice of toast splattered with a bit of olive oil rubbed with a halved garlic clove.

Delicious, quick, cheap, and (probably) not that calorific.  Win.


Yeah, so, this video doesn’t really have anything to do with courgettes but it’s one of the coolest music videos I’ve seen in ages, tapping into the zeitgeist of cat fandom that has permeated 2010. Lolcatz!

Categories: Dinner, Lunch


  1. hmmmm I want that and I want it now – luckily I’m heading to cafe napoli for lunch so I think it’ll be pasta for me

    • Oooh I’ve never eaten in Cafe Napoli although they do lovely coffee. What’s the food like? And how was your lunch today? :)

  2. Looks yummy Aoife, luv Jamie’s Carbonara, but I only ever put in tiny bit of egg/ cream mix as its so heavy, like light carbonara, might try yours next time Vick x

    • Yeah I guess I can’t really call it a carbonara at all! But you know exactly what I mean, sometimes Carbonaras can just be too heavy. And mascarpone is such a lovely cheese, it gives it a much lighter and creamier texture.

      Hope you like it if you give it a go!