I first started making carbonara a few years ago. I had started working a full time job and didn’t get home until almost 7 p.m. daily. I didn’t want to be bothered going to the store or standing in the kitchen until bed time just to have a decent meal. Depending what protein you put in the dish, determined how long it will take. Shrimp is the shortest and is done from start to finish in about 20-30 minutes. Chicken and beef take about 10 minutes longer. Also, a dish with a raw egg didn’t sound appealing but the way the dish is cooked, the egg becomes a creamy sauce that is gently cooked by the heat of the pasta.
- 1 lb Large, uncooked, tail removed, deveined shrimp (you can use smaller if preferred)
- 1 lb Whole what pasta
- 1/2 lb Bacon (chopped)
- 1/2 White onion (finely chopped)
- 1 Garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup Frozen peas
- 2 Eggs (separated, keep only the yolks)
- 3 tbsp Parsley (chopped)
- S & P to taste
- 1 Cup reserved pasta water
- 1 Lemon (reserve juice, zest half)
- 4 tbsp Grated parmesan cheese
In a large stock pot, fill 3/4 with water and season generously with salt. Put on the stove on high until boiling and place pasta in and cook about 9-11 minutes or el dente. Reserve a cup of the hot water, the pasta boiled in.
While the pasta water is heating up, heat a large, deep frying pan on medium to high heat. Place the bacon in and cook until it is crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to remove the excess grease. There should be enough grease in the pan to cook the remaining ingredients. Turn the heat to medium and place the onions in the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes or until they are softened. Add garlic, peas, lemon juice, zest, and half the parsley.
After a couple minutes of cooking and stirring occasionally, add the shrimp. The shrimp should be added about 2 minutes before you remove the cooked pasta from the water. If you over cook shrimp, it becomes tough and rubbery. When the shrimp begin to turn pink, add the bacon.
After you have reserve the cup of pasta water, drain the remaining pasta completely and add to the frying pan. Turn the heat from medium to low. Once the pasta is added, put to egg yolk on top, add the pasta water and toss the pasta with the shrimp quickly. This makes the creamy sauce since the yolks cook by the heat of the pasta. if you let the egg yolk sit, it will cook where it is placed and turn your dish into scrambled eggs. move quickly at this point Once the carbonara is made, add the parmesan cheese, S & P, and remaining parsley. Plate, serve with Italian bread, and enjoy!