Home ยป Penne and Zucchini Carbonara + Weekly Menu

Penne and Zucchini Carbonara + Weekly Menu

When we returned from Asia I had 2 food cravings: pasta and Mexican food. Both cravings have been attended to, by the way. 😉 Mexican was just last night, but this carbonara was early last week. On a weeknight.

7 ingredients and one is pepper. Can’t beat that. Weeknight perfect, I say.

I’m having this struggle right now with dinner time. The weather has been amazing and I am finding Mid Ohio Nutrition Specialists to be growing and growing (We landed a HUGE account last week! Good, caring physicians are out there and we are starting to locate them! Plus, I got my first check from the business…it’s been a long time coming!). Thus, I am finding my free time to be less and less and am not enjoying spending as much time in the kitchen. Wait, that came out wrong. I still want delicious, healthy, homemade meals…but I just want them to come together in, ohh…30 minutes or less. That’s fair, right? I need to be sure there’s adequate time in the PM hours that I don’t and can’t use “lack of time” as an excuse not to workout (it’s been rough getting in 5 workouts this week…but I did it!).

Enough about that. Let’s talk pasta.

Many of you probably recall my magical summer spent living in Italy with Mr. Prevention. He and I, and several others, used to frequent this little restaurant with an English-speaking owner/manager. He was awesome and would always give us limoncello on the house as we were paying our bill.

And this place, Don Carlos, had the most amazing carbonara. Unfortunately for me, I had never even had carbonara before Don Carlos’. And until last week, Don’s was the last carbonara to pass my lips. Ends up, you can make a healthier version at home that’s just as delicious. If you love pasta, pepper, and bacon…this is your pasta love match.


Penne and Zucchini Carbonara slightly adapted from Confections of A Foodie Bride

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices nitrate-free bacon
3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
8 oz zucchini (about 1 medium), cut into pieces the same size as penne
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup (~1.75 oz) hard Parmesan, freshly grated
8 oz whole wheat penne


Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook bacon to a crips and remove bacon. Add pepper and cook for two minutes. Add zucchini and cook until 4-5 minutes, until nicely browned.

Whisk egg, yolk, and Parmesan in a large bowl. Crumble bacon and stir.

Add hot penne, scrape the contents from the zucchini pan into the bowl (oil and zucchini), and toss. Yields: 4 servings (about 1 2/3 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 338 calories; 15 g. fat; 126 mg. cholesterol; 267 mg. sodium; 43 g. carbohydrate; 6.5 g. fiber; 16.3 g. protein

Result: A hint of bacon, a touch of heat from pepper, finished with a creamy cheese and yolk sauce. You won’t believe it’s even relatively low in calories…or how quickly it comes together! Enjoy!


Tonight Mr. Prevention and I are meeting up with the lovely Gina and her boyfriend, Nick, to go to Thurman’s Cafe (the place from Man vs. Food!) for probably the biggest burger ever. Two dietitians eating huge burgers? Believe it! 😀 Since dinner is going to be indulgent, I planned a healthy lunch to balance things out!

Weekly Menu: July 17th-21st

Question: Do you try to spend less time in the kitchen during the warmer months?

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. July 17, 2011 / 9:27 am

    I hope you enjoy the red berry salad! I made Jessica’s chicken tacos last night (with homemade blue cheese dressing) and they were phenomenal – I know you’ll love ’em :).

    I definitely spend less time baking in the summer, but probably spend even more time cooking in general b/c I’m off from work and get to make lunches at home!

  2. July 17, 2011 / 7:09 pm

    This pasta looks delish!
    Why can’t there be more hours in the day…seriously.
    I feel the same way at times. I want to cook more, but lately I have been so busy!
    So far this summer, I have been doing more salads and cold plates since they are easy.

  3. July 17, 2011 / 9:49 pm

    This looks delicious! But then again, isn’t everything made with bacon delicious? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. July 17, 2011 / 10:13 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the pasta so much! It’s our current favorite ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. July 17, 2011 / 10:18 pm

    Congratulations. I’m glad business is doing well. Have you tried quinoa pasta? I love it. It has much the same texture as traditional pasta and a terrific, mellow flavor. I’ve not made a Carbonara yet, but zucchini is in season, so I’ve bookmarked this recipe.

  6. Liz
    July 18, 2011 / 8:45 am

    I think you’ve been reading my mind lately. I have a zucchini and I’ve been craving carbonara…I’m making this tonight!!!!

  7. July 18, 2011 / 10:27 am

    I appreciate that your carbonara is cream-free. It’s a major pet peeve of mine when carbonara is made with cream because that’s definitely not an ingredient in a traditional carbonara.

  8. July 18, 2011 / 11:22 am

    I feel like I naturally spend less time in the kitchen when it’s nice out because I just end up with more stuff to do. Less downtime = quick meal for me.

    This pasta dish looks delish! I can’t wait to see how the PB chicken turns out. You know I love PB!

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