Zucchini Carbonara with Parsnip ‘Pancetta’
7 ounces (200g) whole-grain spaghetti
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 parsnips—tops removed, peeled and cut into batons
1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ cup (100g) sour cream
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium zucchini, spiralized or grated
Grated Parmesan, extra-virgin olive oil and flat-leaf parsley, to serve
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes or according to the package instructions.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat half the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the parsnips, onion and a pinch of salt, and sauté until the onion begins to soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan along with the remaining oil, sautéing until the onion has caramelised and the parsnips are golden and crispy, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, egg yolks, Parmesan and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then set aside.
When the spaghetti is al dente, remove from the heat and drain, reserving a cup of the cooking water.
Add the spaghetti to the skillet along with a splash of the cooking water, the sour cream mixture and the zucchini, and quickly but gently toss together. The heat from the spaghetti will delicately cook the yolks just enough to thicken into a smooth and silky sauce without scrambling. You may need to add more of the cooking water to loosen the sauce slightly. Garnish with more Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprig of parsley, if you like.
NOTE: For an adult upgrade, you can increase the amount of freshly ground black pepper, stir in chopped parsley and serve alongside a hefty amount of salad greens.