w/ Pancetta & Roasted Tomatoes
30 grape tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coarse, black pepper
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup good quality, clear, dry vermouth (can be substituted dry white wine)
4 eggs room-temp, whites separated
2.5 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 tablespoons room-temp butter
12 ounces spaghetti noodles
3 quarts water
1.5 tablespoons salt
1.5 teaspoons freshly, chopped Italian parsley
1.5 teaspoons freshly chopped basil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Slice the tomatoes in half widthwise and place in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the salt & pepper, drizzle with the vinegar and olive oil, add the garlic and toss/mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes. Remove the crushed garlic, finely chop it and reserve.
Spoon the tomatoes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread out. Place on the center rack in oven and roast at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
Cook the pancetta in a small non-stick pan over medium temperature until crispy. Spoon out the crispy pancetta and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the reserved chopped garlic to the pancetta fat and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Don't let the garlic get too browned or will become bitter. Add the vermouth and simmer about 2-3 minutes to reduce some. Remove from heat and add the crispy pancetta back.
In a small bowl, mix the egg yolks, cheese and butter very well with a fork, breaking up any clumps.
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot or skillet with tall sides. Add the salt and pasta and cook to desired doneness. Typically carbonara is al-dente but whichever you prefer works. Once cooked to preference, ladle some of the hot starchy water into a bowl and measure out 1/3 cup to start with. You need to work fast, because everything needs to stay hot in order to melt the cheese and obtain a creamy sauce.
Drain the hot spaghetti through a colander and add back to the pot. Place the pot on a cool surface. Do not place back on the hot burner or your egg mixture will scramble. Scrape the egg mixture on top of the hot spaghetti and start stirring and tossing vigorously to incorporate and melt everything. Slowly pour the reserved 1/3 cup hot starchy water into the pot while tossing. Add just enough to create a creamy, sauce. The pasta will absorb some of the sauce. Add the pancetta with the garlic & vermouth, the tomatoes and the herbs, season with some white pepper, and toss. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.