Carbonara Caprese Pasta
Carbonara is possibly our favorite Italian pasta dish. There is just something about the egg yolk in the carbonara sauce makes it particularly rich and comforting. We also love caprese salads. My wife dislikes most leafy greens, so it isn’t often that we have a traditional salad in our house. But a cheese, tomato and basil salad is a palate pleaser around here. We happen to be quite fond of buratta (mozzarella injected with cream) when we make a caprese. Then it dawned on us, why not combine two amazing Italian dishes in to one super dish? Thus, the caprese carbonara was created! This is truly a meal Victor Frankenstein would be proud of.
Using heirloom tomatoes for this dish really makes a difference, but those tomatoes aren’t always in season, so cherry tomatoes from the grocery store will suffice. Roasting the tomatoes in the oven will really bring out the flavor profile of the tomato and make it rich and sweet.
We always try to use the freshest and most local ingredients possible. But once again, depending on where you live, this can be hard to accomplish. Do the best you can, it will still be delicious no matter what. As far as finding buratta, we purchase ours at Trader Joes and it is relatively inexpensive. I have also seen it at Whole foods, and “ma and pa” cheese shops. You can always ask your local grocer if they carry it or if they can order it.
Ingredients: (serves 2-4)
8oz pappardelle pasta (or fettucini)
6 slices applewood smoked bacon
2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
8oz buratta cheese
Fresh basil leaves, julienned (this is a garnish and you can use as much as you would like)
salt & pepper to taste
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup fresh parmesan, grated finely
4 egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking dishes with foil (one for the tomatoes, one for the bacon).
Halve the cherry tomatoes and put them cut side up into one of the lined baking dishes. Drizzle with olive oil. Finish with a liberal amount of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Bake for 15-30 minutes (depending on the size of your tomatoes), until the tomatoes begin to shrivel and collapse. Place on the top rack. (look at the pictures above for reference on what they should look like)
In the other lined baking dish lay out 6 slices of bacon. Put the bacon on the bottom rack and bake for about 15 minutes or until they get a bit crispy. You should be baking the tomatoes and bacon simultaneously. When the bacon is done, place on a paper towel lined plate and pat dry. Chop bacon into approximately 1/2 inch pieces.
While the bacon and tomatoes are baking, boil water and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
Mix together in a bowl, the egg yolks, cream and grated parmesan.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add cooked pasta.
Reduce heat to low and add egg/cream sauce stirring constantly to make sure the eggs do not coagulate. If eggs begin to coagulate, the pan is still to hot, remove from heat and continue stirring constantly until sauce begins to thicken. Add bacon and roasted tomatoes. Toss gently with tongs.
Using tongs divide pasta between your serving plates. Top with fresh torn buratta, julienned basil and a liberal amount of fresh cracked pepper.
It will be delicious. Try not to consume to quickly.
I also found another recipe similar to this here. It looks pretty good too!