Low Carb Zucchini Pasta and Creamy Ricotta, Smoked Bacon, and Artichoke Sauce

After our week of eating while traveling — that is, many In-n-Out burgers, diner food, and other processed and greasy vittles, it feels good to be back at home, cooking healthy whole foods again!

I had to make a quick weeknight meal last night, so I made some pasta for the boys, and sauteed zucchini “pasta” for me.  I saw this recipe on the NY Times site, and it sounded intriguing.  It’s just zucchini slices made with a vegetable peeler sauteed in olive oil until al dente and seasoned with salt.  It really makes a wonderful foil for a creamy rich sauce, and I think it’s more flavorful than regular pasta.  I saved the cores of the two zucchini and will steam them and throw them in a soup later in the week.

Cooking the zucchini al dente makes a wonderful alternative to pasta.

I knew I wanted a rich, creamy sauce (I had extra ricotta  on hand), so I made up one inspired by this Cooking Light Alfredo with Bacon recipe.  I altered it by adding the ricotta, nutmeg, a mix of part skim plain mozzarella and whole milk smoky mozzarella to bring out the smokiness of the bacon, and some leftover artichoke hearts I had that needed to be used!

It was a perfect marriage of flavors and my boys loved it (always a good indicator for a recipe I can use in the future!)

Ricotta Artichoke Sauce with Spaghetti -- fettucine would be great too, but none to be found in our pantry at the time!

Pasta with Ricotta Cream Sauce and Bacon

½ lb. pasta (spaghetti or fettucine works well) and 1/2 recipe of zucchini pasta

or 1 lb. pasta or one full recipe of zucchini pasta

kosher salt

2 slices of hickory smoked bacon, chopped

2 teaspoons  olive oil

½ small onion, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon flour

1 ½ cup milk (whole or 2% would probably be best, but I used skim!)

¾ cup ricotta (5 oz.)

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ cup grated mozzarella (I used a combination of regular and smoky)

2 canned artichoke hearts, chopped (could probably use more, but that’s all I had)

½ teaspoon nutmeg

Freshly crushed black pepper

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Season water with salt and cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve about ¼ cup cooking water and drain pasta.  Or make zucchini pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking make sauce.  Cook bacon in a large skillet until browned.  Remove to a paper lined plate to drain.
  3. Add a teaspoon or two of olive oil to pan depending on how much bacon grease is left.  I hardly had any so I had to add oil.  Saute chopped onion and garlic until softened.  Sprinkle flour on top and brown quickly in pan.  Then whisk in milk gradually to create a sauce.  Add ricotta and whisk until smooth.  Then add parmesan and mozzarella and artichoke hearts.  Stir to combine.  Season with kosher salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste.  Simmer over low heat until thickened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss to coat.  Add bacon and stir.  Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.



Filed under Dinner, Pasta, Vegetables

26 responses to “Low Carb Zucchini Pasta and Creamy Ricotta, Smoked Bacon, and Artichoke Sauce

  1. I saw this recipe too! So happy to know it turned out well. Surely giving it a try soon.

  2. Great flavor notes in this dish, glad you forged ahead and tried this recipe. I especially like how quickly it comes together. Enitcing photos here!

  3. What a smart idea! I will have to try zucchini pasta now. And the sauce sounds fantastic, I love artichokes 🙂

  4. this is a great recipe! i luv zucchini ribbons — you can use them in so many applications, just like this.

  5. Zucchini pasta? Count me in – this dish looks absurdly delicious for dinner!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Ultimate Reese’s Stuffed Peanut M&M Peanut Butter Cookies + Peanut Butter Banana Softserve

  6. This looks fantastic 😉 I’m in some serious need for low carb recipes~ Gotta shed some weight soon!

  7. Congrats on the FB top 9 today! Like everyone else who commented, I’m excited about the zucchini pasta. I can’t wait to try it out 🙂 Cheers!

  8. Oh my goodness, this looks amazing!

  9. I saw that recipe! This looks fantastic. I love the idea of using zucchini for the pasta and the sauce looks amazing!

  10. Thanks, Mary and Candace, for visiting! 🙂 I enjoyed reading your blogs!

  11. I just saw Jamie Oliver make zucchini pasta with carbonara sauce… am I crazy if I say yours looks better!? I’m going to say it any way. 🙂

  12. Milli

    I am drooooolllling! This sounds fantastic! I will make it this weekend and see if it tastes as good as it sounds!

  13. Lovely recipe! I’ve made something similar before but with peas, bacon and ricotta. But the marriage of zucchini and bacon must be a hit as those are two of my favorites! I don’t like peas all that much. 🙂 Love the idea of zucchini pasta since I shouldn’t be eating too many carbs… I will have to try this soon and will let you know how the family likes it.

  14. NY Times has the best recipes sometimes…though strangely after reading this, I want “In and Out” burger….hope u had a wonderful time!

  15. Good information. Lucky me I recently found your website by chance
    (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!

  16. Looks great, I`ll try it next time!!!

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