Pasta alla Carbonara
⅓ cup bacon, cooked and cut small-diced
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
8 shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined (may also use pre-cooked but thaw first)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
¾ cup heavy cream
12 oz. penne pasta, cook to al dente according to directions on package
¼ cup frozen green peas, thawed before use
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 egg yolks, beaten
Cut 2 strips of bacon into small-diced pieces and cook over medium heat until they just start to crisp. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
In a medium-large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and black pepper and cook until the shrimp just begins to turn pink in color, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the cooked bacon pieces and cream and increase to medium heat. Cook until the cream thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes, until the creamy sauce evenly coats the back of a spoon.
Add the cooked pasta, green peas and cheese and continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure that all the pasta is coated with sauce.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 15 seconds before adding the egg yolks, to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Pour the egg yolks in and toss with the pasta until well mixed. Serve with a light salad, crusty bread and enjoy!
- ALWAYS be sure to cool the pasta a bit before adding the egg yolks, or they will scramble. You may return the pasta to the burner and cook for one more minute before serving if desired.
- Use peeled and deveined shrimp, and thaw first if frozen. Pre-cooked shrimp may also be used.
- Italian white wines are perfect for this pasta dish, as they have enough acidity to cut through the cream. Look for varietals like Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco and Soave.
- Use dried, packaged pasta as fresh or homemade pasta will be too rich for this sauce.
- Chicken breast may be substituted for shrimp, either grilled, rotisserie or roasted. Or, you can cut the breast in half horizontally, and pound it into cutlets scaloppine-style. Then dredge each cutlet in flour and fry in a pan with olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes each side until lightly golden brown. Cut the cutlets into pieces and add to the sauce just before the egg yolk.