Cherry Tomato Carbonara

Is “exotic comfort food” an oxymoron?

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  20-25 minutes
Serves:   6 at least

1 lb whole grain pasta (your favorite shape)
1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large egg, whisked
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
3 TB shredded Parmesan (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook the ground beef, onions and garlic in a saute pan or skillet over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the beef is almost cooked through.  Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute or until beef is done.  Set aside and keep warm.

Cook the pasta, drain , and return to the cooking pot or place in a large bowl.  Quickly add the egg and stir (the hot pasta will cook the egg).  Stir in the ground beef mixture, along with the basil and Parmesan. 

Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  Add a glass of dry red wine, or a chilled rose, for a midweek celebration of cherry tomato season.

Notes:  For visual appeal, place the eggy pasta on a serving platter and top with the ground beef, then the basil, then the Parmesan.

For a vegetarian dish, omit the ground beef and cook the onion and garlic in 3 TB olive oil.  Add a little more Parmesan for protein and flavor.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

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