TOMATO BACON CARBONARA — Classic pasta Carbonara with bacon is given a delicious, colorful twist with the addition of fresh sauteed cherry tomatoes.
It’s that time of year when I have an abundance of tomatoes coming from my garden, and this Tomato Bacon Carbonara was the perfect way to use up all those fresh tomatoes!
If you’ve ever had Carbonara, you know it’s one of the easiest, most delicious ways to prepare pasta. And since it’s such a basic dish, it’s also easy to add things like fresh tomatoes for a tasty twist on a classic Italian dish.
It’s one of my very favorite pasta sauces, and always a hit with my family! I can’t say everyone loves tomatoes at my house though. But they just eat the noodles and leave the tomatoes for me!
If you’d like your dish to have even more of an Italian flair, you can use prosciutto or pancetta in place of the bacon.
Bacon is usually what I have on hand though, so that’s what I always use in this dish.
Using a variety of cherry tomatoes certainly makes this dish look pretty, but it isn’t necessary. Using one variety will work just fine.
And yes, you add raw egg yolks to this dish, but don’t worry. The heat of the pan and the hot pasta water will cook them. In fact, it’s the egg yolks that create the rich, creamy sauce.
Really, the possibilities for adding fresh veggies to this dish are pretty endless, so don’t stop at tomatoes. You could even add chicken or shrimp for a more hearty meal.
Whatever you do, this quick and easy pasta dinner is sure to be a hit, and such a delicious way to use up those fresh, in-season tomatoes.
Be sure to save this Tomato Bacon Carbonara recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
Use a big pot: Cook pasta in a large pot–big enough to hold 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
Salt: Generously season your cooking water with salt. A few teaspoons per quart of water is a good place to start. Although a little more or less is fine, depending on your preference.
Don’t overcook: Boil your pasta to until it is al dente, which means it’s cooked, but still a bit chewy. You’ll want to test your pasta for flavor and texture every 20 seconds or so during the last few minutes of cooking.
If you’ll continue cooking the pasta in a sauce, or baking it in the oven, remove the pot from the heat a few minutes before it’s done to prevent overcooking.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Tomato Bacon Carbonara
- Fettuccine or linguine
- Produce: cherry tomatoes, shallots, garlic, fresh chives, fresh parsley
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 12 ounces dried fettuccine or linguine
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking water.
- While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high until crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain; reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Chop or crumble bacon.
- Add tomatoes to skillet, and cook, stirring often, until just softened, 3-4 minutes. Add shallots and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring often, for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of the reserved cooking water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta. Quickly stir in beaten egg yolks until everything is thoroughly combined. Return skillet to medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is slightly thickened and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in bacon, and Parmesan cheese and cook until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stir in chives and parsley, adding remaining 1/2 cup cooking water if necessary to reach desired consistency. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese before serving, if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 254 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 111mg Sodium: 405mg Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 13g
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Southern Living