The simplest weeknight-style Roasted Broccoli Pasta Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Whipped Ricotta. A classic creamy Italian carbonara sauce, but updated with roasted broccoli, crispy prosciutto, and the creamiest whipped ricotta cheese. This simple broccoli pasta carbonara is made in under an hour and makes for a vibrant, but still cozy, creamy pasta bowl that’s perfect for any day of the week too. And the true bonus? Everyone loves this dish!
So, I know it’s “healthy January” and all, but I think every week deserves a good bowl of pasta. And let’s be honest, all the broccoli keeps the bowl colorful and on the healthy side, you know what I mean?
The truth is, I’ve found this year’s healthy January to be a little trickier than in year’s pasta. I don’t know if it’s the cold, grey winter days we’ve had this past week or the fact that we’re at home right now with very few plans. Either way, I’m craving heartier recipes this January. Thankfully, I’ve been able to healthify a lot of my favorites, like the “Taco Bell” Crunchwraps, my go-to winter Pesto Pasta, doughnuts, and even chocolate chip cookies too.
And today, it’s all about pasta carbonara. But updated carbonara, with lots of roasted broccoli for added color and the creamiest, creamless sauce.
Let’s talk about the ingredients.
At first glance, you might not think you can pull this off with only a handful of ingredients. But the truth is, this pasta is so simple. It’s made using a lot of ingredients you might even have on hand right now.
Let me break the ingredients down for you…
You need broccoli, prosciutto, eggs, parmesan cheese, garlic, herbs (these can be fresh or dried), pasta, and ricotta cheese. Personally, I always have these ingredients on hand. If I don’t have fresh broccoli, I usually always have another vegetable I can roast up instead. And if I don’t have the herbs called for, then I most definitely have dried.
So, this is the pasta I call my pantry staple pasta. Whatever I don’t have on hand, I swap with what I do. But the very most important ingredients…broccoli (or a veggie), eggs, and cheese. You’ve got to have those.
Onto the details.
With a short cook time, you can imagine this recipe is easy. First things first, you should pull out all of your ingredients. The key to a good carbonara is to serve it right after tossing. So having everything prepped and ready to go before cooking is key.
Start with the broccoli and prosciutto. The broccoli gets roasted with a little bit of garlic. I like to bake the prosciutto right alongside the broccoli to keep things simple. It also ensures the prosciutto gets evenly cooked and crispy all around.
Just as the broccoli finishes cooking, I like to toss it with lemon zest. The heat from the broccoli infuses everything with a touch of brightness and freshness.
Now, onto that creamy whipped ricotta. I want to start off by saying that this is an extra step that you don’t have to take. But I will say that it elevates the pasta, making it just a touch more special than all the rest.
So I think it’s worth the extra five minutes. Simply add the ricotta to a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
Just before the broccoli finishes roasting, I like to boil up the pasta and whisk the eggs with parmesan. If you’ve never made a carbonara pasta, it’s a classic Italian pasta dish. It’s unique in that it uses raw eggs. Tossing the raw eggs with hot pasta and plenty of parmesan cheese creates a delicious creamy sauce without actually having to use any cream at all. The heat from the pasta cooks the eggs and produces the silkiest, smoothest, and creamiest pasta sauce. It’s melt in your mouth good. If you’ve tried my butternut squash pasta carbonara, you’re already familiar with just how creamy and delicious this sauce is.
As soon as the pasta finishes cooking, immediately toss it with the eggs. This step is really important, but don’t worry it’s also really easy. Just be sure to toss, toss, toss for a good minute until the sauce thickens. You’ll then have perfect Roasted Broccoli Pasta Carbonara.
Finish it up!
By now, the broccoli and prosciutto should be just finishing up in the oven.
This is how I put it all together… Spread that whipped ricotta into the bottom of each pasta bowl before adding the hot pasta carbonara. Top each bowl with broccoli and crispy prosciutto, then enjoy immediately. Once the pasta hits the ricotta it slowly starts to sink in, warming the cheese, and making every twirl of pasta so delicious.
It’s not the most traditional, but it is so, so good. The perfect pasta that’s easy enough for a Wednesday night, but feels special enough for the weekend too!
Looking for more winter pasta? Here are a few favorites:
Lastly, if you make this Roasted Broccoli Pasta Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Whipped Ricotta, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Roasted Broccoli Pasta Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Whipped Ricotta
Calories Per Serving: 432 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 2-3 cups broccoli florets roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 pinch each kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 3 ounces prosciutto torn
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature and beaten
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 pound pasta
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, whipped in the food processor, if desired
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. On a baking sheet, toss together the broccoli, olive oil, garlic, and a pinch each of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Bake 10 minutes, remove from the oven. Arrange the prosciutto around the broccoli. Bake another 8-10 minutes, until the prosciutto is crispy. One the baking sheet, toss the hot broccoli with the lemon zest.2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and parmesan.3. Boil the pasta until al dente. Before draining, scoop out 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and add the pasta back to the hot pot. Immediately add the egg/cheese mixture, tossing quickly (to ensure the eggs do not scramble). Toss until the eggs thicken and create a sauce. Add basil, thyme, and butter, tossing more to combine. Thin the sauce with the reserved pasta water until it reaches your desired consistency.4. Spread the ricotta into the bottom of each individual serving bowl. Spoon the pasta over the cheese. Top with broccoli and prosciutto. Twirl the pasta up with the ricotta...EAT and ENJOY.