Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow. This past weekend, folks all over the coast were watching Hurricane Nate and wondering if we were going to have a quiet Saturday at home or start heading for the hills.

Just in case that hurricane did head our way, I wanted to make sure my market-fresh ingredients didn’t go to waste. Some locally raised pork sausage from the freezer and some fresh-grown zucchini and cherry tomatoes made for a delicious dinner while we hunkered down for the hurricane that, blessedly, wasn’t.

I gave this traditional carbonara recipe a Louisiana twist by using Cajun sausage from my local butcher and serving it over a rich risotto. I combined my fresh zucchini and tomatoes in a healthy and simple preparation made special by using garlic-infused olive oil and fresh thyme.

Sometimes, the week goes perfectly as planned, and sometimes it seems like a hurricane blew through our schedule. For those days, it’s nice to have a stash of ingredients to pull together a meal and collect ourselves.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. You can reach her at