A SATISFYING PASTA DISH
Pasta Alla Carbonara originated in Italy’s Lazio region. Carbonara comes from the Italian word for “charcoal.” The exact reason for the name has many theories rather than a definite explanation. Many people think it refers to the early practice of charcoal grilling the meat for the dish.
Traditionally, fatty Italian sausage such as guanciale or pancetta is used to make Carbonara pasta, but American bacon makes an ideal substitute. My recipe uses both shrimp and bacon as well as heavy cream. The addition of cream isn’t traditionally Italian, but is popular in American versions of Pasta Alla Carbonara. I like spinach fettucine as well as peas to add some color, but, if you prefer, you can use regular pasta and skip the peas.
Eggs are a traditional part of Carbonara pasta. They become soft-scrambled and are delicious mixed with the Parmesan cheese and the other hot ingredients. Lots of good Parmesan cheese to stir in at the last minute and add on top is a must!
PERFECT PASTA CARBONARA
8 oz spinach fettucine
1 ½ cups shrimp – cooked
1 ½ cups bacon – cooked and crumbled
1 medium onion – chopped
2 cups mushrooms – sliced
1 cup frozen peas
¼ – ½ tsp basil to taste
¼ – ½ tsp oregano to taste
ground pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup (plus more for top) Parmesan cheese
4 eggs — beaten
3 Tablespoons parsley – chopped
1. In a frying pan, saute the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and frozen peas. Keep cooking until the onions, peas and mushrooms are starting to get tender. Stir in the basil, oregano and pepper plus the garlic. Cook for a few more minutes before adding the beaten egg and stirring it into the mixture in the pan until the eggs are soft-scrambled. Remove from heat, set aside and keep warm.
2. In a saucepan or double boiler, heat the cream carefully over low heat to warm it. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, cooked shrimp, cooked bacon and cooked pasta. Blend this mixture with the ingredients in the frying pan. Distribute the Pasta Carbonara onto serving plates. Serve immediately topped with Parmesan cheese.