Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara

Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara
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About This Recipe

In the heart of California lies Napa Valley, a region that is not only revered for its exquisite wines but also for its captivating culinary landscape. When one imagines Napa, images of sprawling vineyards come to mind, but beneath this wine-focused facade lies a rich tapestry of gastronomic delights waiting to be explored. One such delicacy that has recently graced many a table, both in local homes and upscale restaurants, is the Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara.

This dish is the result of an artful blend of two culinary worlds. Italy, with its centuries-old Carbonara tradition, and Napa Valley, with its bountiful produce and artisanal cheeses. When burrata, that creamy-centered cheese sensation which has taken the culinary world by storm, is introduced into a traditional Carbonara, the result is nothing short of magical.

Now, for the uninitiated, let's delve a little deeper into the recipe. The main attractions here are the creamy burrata and the salted allure of prosciutto. But this is not just any prosciutto; in keeping with the local flavor, the recipe often calls for prosciutto sourced from Sonoma County's renowned salumerias. Wrapped around this central duo is pasta cooked al dente, drenched in a sauce made from egg yolks and Pecorino Romano cheese, itself a testament to age-old Italian culinary wisdom. A sprinkle of fresh parsley and a touch of Napa's very own Chardonnay, and the dish sings with a melody of flavors.

So, how did this dish come to be? The blending of burrata into Carbonara is a relatively recent innovation, and it finds its roots right here in Napa. As the valley has grown in culinary stature, there's been a beautiful melding of classic recipes with local ingredients, creating unique dishes that carry a story. The Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara tells the tale of an old-world Italian tradition meeting the innovative spirit of Napa Valley.

For those visiting Napa or even Sonoma, trying this dish is a must. Not just for the flavors, but also for what it represents. And for those eager to sample, I'd recommend Oenotri, a downtown Napa eatery that offers rustic Southern Italian dishes with a Napa twist.

But what truly elevates this dish is the wine pairing. Napa Valley's rich viticultural heritage ensures that there's always the perfect wine to enhance any culinary experience. For this creamy pasta, a Chardonnay is a safe choice, its buttery undertones complementing the richness of the dish. A Pinot Noir offers a classic pairing, its acidity cutting through the creaminess, while the red fruit notes play well with the saltiness of the prosciutto. However, for those with a more adventurous palate, a Vermentino is highly recommended. With its citrusy brightness and mineral notes, it provides a delightful contrast to the dish.

Adding to the culinary adventure, consider bookending this main course with a fresh, locally-sourced salad, perhaps from one of Napa's famed farmer's markets, like the Napa Farmers Market. Finish off with a dessert wine from one of the local vineyards, like a Late Harvest from Frog's Leap, for a meal that is quintessentially Napa.

As you immerse yourself in the Napa experience, it's not just about tasting the food or sipping the wine; it's about understanding the history, the culture, and the love that goes into every plate and every glass. The Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara is more than just a dish; it's a narrative, a confluence of traditions, and a testament to Napa's ever-evolving culinary journey.

Whether you're a local, a visitor, or someone dreaming of the rolling vineyards of wine country, remember that in Napa, every meal tells a story. And in the tale of the Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara, it's one of tradition, innovation, and pure culinary delight. So the next time you're in California's wine country, do yourself a favor and savor this dish. Because in Napa, we don't just eat; we celebrate.

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Burrata

Burrata is an Italian cheese delicacy that has stolen the hearts of gourmets worldwide. Its name, derived from the Italian word "burro", translates to "butter" – a nod to its rich, creamy texture. A close cousin to mozzarella, burrata is a pouch of fresh mozzarella cheese filled with a luscious mixture of curd and cream. Its melt-in-your-mouth interior juxtaposed against a tender mozzarella shell makes it a culinary gem. Napa Valley, with its dedication to artisanal produce, has embraced burrata in its culinary scene, often pairing it with local produce and wines. In our Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara, this cheese shines, adding unparalleled creaminess and a touch of luxury to a classic dish.

How to Perfectly Toss Pasta in Carbonara Sauce

Tossing the pasta in Carbonara sauce is the pivotal step that can make or break your dish. The goal is to achieve a creamy, velvety sauce without turning it into scrambled eggs. Here’s how:

  1. Work Fast: Once your pasta is cooked, it's a race against time. The residual heat from the pasta cooks the egg mixture, creating a silky sauce.
  2. Off the Heat: Remove your skillet from the heat before introducing the pasta and egg mixture. This helps control the cooking process.
  3. Combine with Confidence: Vigorously toss the pasta in the sauce. This action, coupled with the pasta's heat, cooks the eggs to perfection without scrambling them.

FAQs About Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara

  1. Can I use a different cheese if I don’t have burrata? Absolutely! While burrata offers a unique creaminess, you can substitute it with fresh mozzarella or even ricotta for a slightly different texture.
  2. What if I’m allergic to eggs? The eggs in this recipe provide the creaminess to the sauce. If you have allergies, you can try using heavy cream as a substitute, although the taste and texture will vary.
  3. How do I store leftovers? Store any leftover Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It's best reheated on the stove over low heat, adding a splash of milk or pasta water to bring back its creamy texture.
  4. Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Yes! Opt for a gluten-free pasta variety. Just ensure it's cooked al dente to maintain the best texture when tossing with the sauce.
  5. What type of pan is best for making this Carbonara? A large, non-stick skillet works best. It offers ample space for tossing the pasta, ensuring an even coating of that delicious sauce.

Tips for Success

  1. Fresh is Best: This recipe thrives on the freshness of its ingredients. Use freshly grated Pecorino Romano and purchase your burrata from a reputable source, preferably on the day you plan to cook.
  2. Pasta Water is Gold: Reserve a cup of pasta cooking water. Its starchy content can help in loosening the sauce if it gets too thick, ensuring that perfect creamy consistency.
  3. Wine Pairing: While the recipe itself uses Chardonnay, consider pairing the dish with Pinot Noir or Vermentino when serving. These wines either complement the creamy texture or provide a delightful contrast, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Recipe Overview

Recipe:
Creamy Burrata & Prosciutto Pasta Carbonara
Author:
Lily Anderson
Season:
Summer
Yield:
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
650
Prep Time:
PT10M
Cook Time:
PT15M
Total Time:
PT25M

Ingredients List

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz spaghetti or linguine
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 cup fresh burrata, torn into chunks
  • 4 oz prosciutto, thinly sliced and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (preferably Napa Valley Chardonnay)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and Pecorino Romano cheese until smooth and creamy.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the prosciutto and cook until slightly crispy.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up the flavorful bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Using tongs, transfer the cooked pasta directly to the skillet, tossing to combine with the prosciutto and garlic mixture.
  7. Remove the skillet from heat. Quickly pour in the egg and cheese mixture, tossing vigorously to coat the pasta without scrambling the eggs.
  8. Gently fold in the burrata chunks. Season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  9. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh parsley.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

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