One of my stocking stuffers from Christmas was the book Cook This, Not That!, by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding. I already have Eat This, Not That! and have enjoyed it, so this was an interesting new twist to the series. The authors take dishes from popular restaurants that are horrible for you, and give you a healthier recipe. I really like the book, which explains the substitutions, what exactly is so bad about the original, and give calorie (and even price) comparisons. I’ve only made a handful of the recipes so far, but they have all been good, and this is one of our favorites.
- 10 oz. spaghetti (I have no idea how to measure that – I use about 3/4 of a box)
- 6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into thin ribbons (I prefer small zucchini – I use 3, cut them in half and then make the ribbons so there’s plenty and they mimic the noodles. I have also now used the round zucchini we received from our farm share, quartered and thinly sliced – yellow squash I’m sure would also be equally delicious.)
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Pecorino or Parmesan for grating
- 1 handful chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
- While the pasta cooks, heat a large saute’ pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Discard all but a thin film of the fat from the pan. Add the onion, zucchini, and garlic and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Stir back in the bacon and season with a bit of salt and plenty of coarse black pepper.
- Drain the pasta, using a coffee cup to save a few ounces of the cooking water (I just use tongs to bring the pasta directly from the pot into the pan – some of the water will come with, and it will be plenty). Add the pasta directly to the saute’ pan and toss to coat. Stir in enough of the pasta water (unless you did the tongs-method) so that a thin layer of moisture clings to the noodles. Remove from the heat and add the two eggs directly into the pasta, using tongs or two forks to toss for even distribution. Divide the pasta and top with grated cheese and parsley.
We serve ours with salad, and a small loaf of fresh bread.
(If you head on over to Flickr, you can see the picture of that beautiful round squash I used last night. Make sure to click on the actual picture and move your mouse over it to see all the individual items – most are quite recognizable, but I’ve named them all.)