Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata

Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata is an innovative reinterpretation of traditional Italian carbonara, transforming a familiar favorite into a gourmet masterpiece. This recipe infuses classic elements with new, intriguing textures and flavors, making it a perfect dish for those who cherish Italian cuisine but desire something uniquely satisfying and visually appealing.

In this version, the typical spaghetti is replaced by orzo, a small, rice-shaped pasta that beautifully absorbs and melds with the rich, creamy sauce and the luxurious additions of crispy prosciutto and creamy burrata. Each ingredient is chosen to enhance the dish’s complexity while honoring the roots of a beloved classic. The crispy prosciutto offers a savory crunch that contrasts delightfully with the soft, rich bursts of burrata cheese, creating a symphony of textures that is both satisfying and indulgent.

Crafted for simplicity in preparation yet rich in taste, this dish is designed to impress. Whether served at a casual family dinner or presented as the centerpiece of a formal gathering, Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata promises a culinary experience that combines comfort with a touch of elegance. This dish is not just a meal but a celebration of flavor, a testament to the versatility and enduring appeal of Italian culinary traditions reimagined for contemporary palates.


  • 1 lb orzo pasta
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 burrata cheese, torn into pieces
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Cook the Orzo: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain the orzo, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and set aside.
  2. Crisp the Prosciutto: While the orzo is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto slices and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the prosciutto from the skillet and set it on a paper towel to drain. Once cooled, break into small pieces.
  3. Prepare the Carbonara Sauce: In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan cheese, and minced garlic. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Combine Orzo with Carbonara Sauce: In the same skillet used for the prosciutto, reduce the heat to low and add the drained orzo. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the orzo, stirring quickly to coat the pasta without scrambling the eggs. Add the reserved pasta water a little at a time to achieve a creamy consistency.
  5. Final Assembly: Once the orzo is coated in the carbonara sauce and heated through, remove from heat. Gently fold in the crispy prosciutto pieces. Transfer to a serving dish or individual plates.
  6. Add Burrata: Place pieces of burrata cheese over the hot pasta. The heat from the orzo and sauce will slightly melt the burrata, adding a wonderfully creamy texture to the dish.
  7. Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle chopped parsley over the top for a touch of color and freshness. Serve immediately to enjoy the creamy and crispy textures at their best.

Serving Suggestions:

Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of dining settings to enhance the meal experience. Here are some additional serving suggestions to consider:

  1. Accompany with Crusty Bread: Serve this creamy pasta dish with slices of warm, crusty bread like ciabatta or a rustic sourdough. The bread is perfect for mopping up any leftover creamy sauce, ensuring that none of the delicious flavors go to waste.
  2. Pair with a Simple Salad: A light salad dressed with a lemon vinaigrette or a balsamic glaze can balance the richness of the carbonara. Consider salads that incorporate arugula, spinach, or a spring mix to add a crisp texture and a slight peppery flavor.
  3. Wine Pairing: Complement the meal with a glass of white wine such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, which pairs well with the creamy sauce and the salty prosciutto. For those who prefer red, a light Pinot Noir can beautifully match the earthy notes of the burrata and pasta.
  4. Vegetable Sides: To add color and diversity to your meal, serve the pasta with steamed vegetables such as green beans, peas, or asparagus. These vegetables provide a fresh contrast to the richness of the dish and add nutritional balance.
  5. Garnish Options: Sprinkle additional herbs over the pasta before serving. Basil, parsley, or even a touch of thyme can enhance the aromatic presence of the dish and add a fresh note to the creamy pasta.
  6. Cheese Alternatives: While burrata is a star in this recipe, offering other cheeses on the side such as Parmesan shavings or ricotta can allow guests to customize their serving according to their taste preferences.
  7. For a Heartier Meal: If you are serving a crowd or want to make the meal more substantial, consider adding side dishes like stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, or a charcuterie board featuring various meats, cheeses, and olives.


2. What if I can’t find burrata cheese? If burrata is not available, you can use fresh mozzarella as a substitute. While it won’t have the same creamy center as burrata, it will still contribute a lovely soft texture and mild flavor to the dish.

3. Is there a vegetarian alternative to prosciutto in this recipe? For a vegetarian version, you can omit the prosciutto and add a pinch of smoked paprika or smoked salt to the dish to mimic the smoky flavor. Alternatively, vegetarian bacon or crispy fried mushrooms can provide a similar texture.

4. How can I make this recipe gluten-free? To make this dish gluten-free, use a gluten-free orzo pasta. Be sure to check the packaging to confirm it’s manufactured in a gluten-free facility if cross-contamination is a concern.

5. Can I prepare this dish ahead of time? Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata is best enjoyed fresh. However, you can cook the orzo and prepare the prosciutto ahead of time. Just assemble and heat everything together when ready to serve to ensure the burrata is fresh and creamy.

6. What are some good side dishes to serve with this pasta? A light, crisp green salad dressed with a vinaigrette makes a refreshing side that complements the rich flavors of the pasta. Garlic bread or a simple vegetable side dish like steamed asparagus or roasted brussels sprouts also pairs nicely.

7. How do I store leftovers? Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Note that the texture of the pasta and burrata may change slightly when reheated. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stove to avoid the eggs in the sauce from scrambling.


Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata exemplifies the delightful possibilities that arise when traditional recipes are approached with creativity and an eye for contemporary tastes. This dish is a testament to the art of culinary adaptation, maintaining the soul of classic Italian cooking while introducing elements that elevate it to a new level of sophistication. The combination of tender orzo, crisp prosciutto, and melting burrata not only provides a textural contrast but also a complex layering of flavors that are both comforting and luxurious.

This recipe offers an excellent opportunity to explore the nuances of Italian cuisine, making it accessible for home cooks to recreate and adapt according to their preferences. Whether you are looking to impress guests with a refined dinner option or simply want to treat yourself to a rich and satisfying meal, Orzo Carbonara with Crispy Prosciutto and Burrata is sure to fulfill your culinary desires.

By bringing this dish to your table, you are not just serving food; you are inviting an experience that celebrates the fusion of tradition and innovation. It encourages diners to appreciate the harmony between the rustic roots of carbonara and the modern flair of added textures and flavors. Enjoy the process of making this dish as much as you will enjoy consuming it, and let it inspire you to further explore the vast and varied landscape of Italian cuisine.

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