June 17, 2020
Summer is upon us, although the weather here in Seattle seems more like fall, chilly days, grey and drizzly. Why? Ugh. Well, I can still cook something delicious that makes me FEEL summery. I try (I don't always succeed) to plan our meals based on what's local and seasonal. Tomatoes are at their most sweet and juicy around this time of year so I aim to take advantage of that. Enter this pasta recipe!!!
If you have ever tasted carbonara sauce and liked it, then you will LOVE this. Carbonara is a traditional Italian pasta dish made with sautéed guanciale, a cured meat product from the cheek of the pig, or pancetta (guanciale cannot be found in the US so the pancetta is a good replacement). The drained, hot pasta is added to a bowl of whisked whole eggs and yolks and grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese. You must then toss the pasta vigorously so the eggs don't have time to scramble but instead turn into a creamy and velvety sauce that clings lovingly to the pasta. There may be bits of egg and cheese flying about as you toss away, but hey, that is just par for the course, and trust me you won't care about anything once you've had a mouthful of this.
The sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes bring some freshness to a dish that might otherwise be too heavy. Serve with a light, arugula salad perhaps? This meal can be prepared in 30 minutes or less so gather your ingredients and let's get started!!
2 pints cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh oregano
1/2 cup fresh chopped/torn, basil leaves plus more for serving
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
pinch of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces prosciutto
2 whole eggs
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1 pound pasta (I used penne)
Preheat oven to 400° F and fill your pasta pot with water. Add salt, enough so it tastes salty. Taste it to check! Turn the heat on medium and bring the water to a boil.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper, salt, and pepper to a sheet pan and pour over the olive oil. Mix with your hands until the tomatoes are thoroughly coated in the garlic, herbs, and oil. Sprinkle the chopped prosciutto over the tomatoes and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to collapse in on themselves and their skins start to blister and peel. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Put your eggs and cheese in a mixing bowl large enough to accommodate the cooked pasta, remember that you will need room in the bowl to really get in there and toss that pasta well. I add some salt, pepper and more basil leaves to the bowl as well. Whisk until combined. Have two long spoons or other tools nearby to mix the pasta with.
Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and pour into the bowl with the egg mixture. Right away, start to mix and stir. Don't be shy. This needs to be done as quickly as possible so the eggs don't scramble from the heat. Breakfast for dinner has its place, but not here ok? You can do it!!
Add the tomato mixture and toss again gently. Serve with more grated cheese and basil if you so desire.