I’m so excited to share with you what I think is one of the prettiest and most delicious dishes I’ve ever made: a summer pasta made with Prosciutto di Parma, Burrata, and fresh herbs and veggies, like basil, parsley, green peas, and watercress. It’s a veritable feast for the eyes and mouth!
This showstopping dish would be perfect for dining al fresco. While its flavours are complex, it’s surprisingly quick and easy to put together!
One of the things I love most about pasta is its versatility. It’s not just a comfort food to be enjoyed during the cooler months. It can be prepared in any number of ways and enjoyed all year ‘round. The addition of seasonal ingredients makes it summer appropriate. Edible flowers (optional) give this dish a beautiful finish. But the crowning glory of this summer pasta is really the Prosciutto di Parma. It adds an extra burst of salty flavour, buttery texture, and doesn’t require anything other than bunching and placing on top!
Did you know that Prosciutto di Parma is a 100% all-natural, gluten-free product made with only four ingredients? Yes, that’s right – just pork, sea salt, air, and time (if you want to consider these last two “ingredients” 😉). Prosciutto di Parma is completely free of preservatives, additives and hormones, and it’s aged twice as long as many other prosciuttos.
In making a summer pasta like this, it’s important that I buy real Prosciutto di Parma. Since it’s served fresh on top of the pasta (not chopped up, cooked or baked into anything), it has to be the best quality. To know you’re buying authentic Prosciutto di Parma, look for the “PDO” symbol or the Parma crown on the package. If buying from the deli counter, ask for the Parma Crown on the leg. PDO stands for Protected Designation of Origin, referring to the unique linkage between a product and its geographical area of origin. The real Prosciutto di Parma can only be produced in the city of Parma in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy (where Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar come from). The conditions and air in Parma are the most favourable to making it, and it’s produced from Italian-born and bred pigs raised according to the highest standards.
The process of making this summer pasta is not unlike making a spaghetti carbonara (you can see my classic spaghetti carbonara here). For this recipe, I like to use a noodle thinner than spaghetti. I’ve used a spaghettini, but a capellini or angel hair would also work well! The trick is to vigorously work your egg mixture into the hot pasta – moving it quickly so as not to let your eggs scramble. If done well, you’ll end up with a silky, creamy texture with no cream product needed.
Here, I’ve made a homemade basil pesto using my mortar and pestle. This can be done in a food processor or blender, or you could just purchase store-bought. If you find the pasta has enough basil on its own, the pesto is of course completely optional (but I love the pop of green colour on top).
Without further ado, here is my summer pasta with Prosciutto di Parma, Burrata & fresh herbs. Buon appetito!
Summer Pasta with Prosciutto di Parma, Burrata & Herbs
- 1 lb. spaghettini pasta
- 200 g Prosciutto di Parma
- 4 eggs
- 100 g pancetta cut into lardons
- 1 cup finely grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
- 10 oz. fresh burrata
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped basil if not including pesto on top, use 1/2 cup of chopped basil
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 bunch fresh watercress
- edible flowers optional
- Boil pasta according to package instructions in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente. If using frozen peas, boil until cooked through.
- While pasta is cooking, whisk eggs in a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano, parsley, and basil. Mix together until well combined.
- Brown pancetta in a large saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Don't over-crisp. Remove excess fat and then deglaze pan with a ladle of pasta water, stirring frequently. Turn heat off.
- When pasta is ready, add directly to saucepan with pancetta and pasta water. Stir to combine well. Carefully add the egg mixture into the pan. You can add in stages to ensure the egg doesn't scramble. Vigorously mix with tongs until the sauce is completely emulsified and the noodles are well-coated. Add more pasta water to adjust consistency, if needed. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over pasta and mix well.
- Spoon green peas over pasta. Tear watercress leaves and garnish. Spoon Burrata on top of pasta (drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of burrata). Add small bunches of Prosciutto di Parma on top. Finish with edible flowers.
- Add more grated parmigiano, if desired. Serve warm. Enjoy!
*This post was done in partnership with Prosciutto di Parma. But as always, all opinions are 100% my own.