If anyone ever tells you they’re not a “pasta person,” they sit on a throne of lies. And if they really don’t like pasta, there might actually be something wrong with them. I’m joking of course, but I would never joke about my love of pasta–and when you add a soft, fresh cheese like mozzarella to the mix, you are really just creating a little bit of heaven in the kitchen.
I came across this amazing-sounding carbonara dish from the Half Baked Harvest blog. I wasn’t able to find the burrata as called for in the original recipe, so I decided to substitute fresh mozzarella. With a sprinkling of fresh herbs to finish the pasta off, this dish is a reminder that pasta really does make everything better.
HERB ROASTED TOMATO CARBONARA
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup fresh herbs, chopped (I used basil and oregano)
4 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound long cut pasta (I used fettuccine)
4 ounces prosciutto (or bacon), thinly sliced
3 eggs, beaten
¾ cup whole milk or heavy cream
¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped (to garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Place the tomatoes, olive oil, fresh chopped herbs, 2 cloves minced garlic, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper to a baking dish. Toss well, ensuring that the tomatoes are coated in olive oil, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to burst.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the pasta until just al dente. Before you drain the pasta, scoop out about half a cup of pasta water. Then drain the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add a small drizzle of olive oil, and once the oil is hot, add the prosciutto. Let the prosciutto crisp up, about 5-6 minutes. Then toss in the remaining 2 cloves of minced garlic, and saute for about 1 minute to soften (don’t let the garlic burn).
- Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss everything together. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Beat together the eggs, cream, and parmesan in a measuring cup or small bowl. Remove the pasta and prosciutto from the heat, and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, tossing quickly so that the eggs don’t scramble. Mix together until the eggs thicken and create a sauce. You can thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water until it reaches your desired consistency. I like a thicker sauce, so I didn’t add any additional pasta water.
- Add the tomatoes, including all of the juices and herbs from the tomato dish. Gently toss to combine with the pasta.
- Season the carbonara with freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.
- Divide the pasta among plates or bowls and top with torn fresh mozzarella cheese, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and fresh chopped basil or parsley.