zucchini pasta with basil
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Zucchini Carbonara

A vegetarian version of carbonara that makes excellent use of summer's most prolific vegetable.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: quick and easy, summer, zucchini pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 575kcal
Author: Molly Watson


  • 1 pound spaghetti (regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free)
  • 3 tablespoons salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 1 clove garlic or shallot
  • 3 sprigs basil
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil


  • Bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 3 tablespoons of the salt. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain but do not rinse.
  • While the water comes to a boil, put the egg yolks, Parmesan, and pepper in a large serving bowl. Whisk until well combined. Put two large spoons or other utensils with which to toss the pasta in the bowl, and set the bowl near where you'll drain the pasta.
  • Cut the zucchini into long noodle-like strips. Peel and mince the garlic (or shallot). Chop the basil.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter (or olive oil) and the garlic or shallot. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • If boiling: Take the frying pan off the heat, let cool a few minutes, then quickly stir into the egg and cheese mixture. Add to the noodles for the last 2 minutes of cooking time.
  • If sauteeing: Add the zucchini to the garlic, stir to coat the zucchini with the butter, and cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Immediately after you drain the pasta, dump it in the bowl with the egg and cheese. Toss vigorously to combine. If you sauteed the zucchini, add it to the mix and toss to combine again. Toss in the basil and serve immediately.


Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 5494mg | Potassium: 574mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 719IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 198mg | Iron: 2mg