I fell in love with carbonara while I was working at Zimorino's in Missoula. They made it with extra cream and their homemade sausage so that it was ungodly rich. When one of the employees had a birthday the restaurant would cook them anything they wanted. It wasn't uncommon for us to try ordering something that wasn't on the menu just to see if the kitchen would cook it. I don't remember who, but someone decided to try asking them to substitute shrimp for the sausage in the carbonara. Yummy. God damn that was a great place to work.
Anyway.... My version is a less rich because I leave out the cream and add some thick stock instead. Well.... sometimes I'll add the cream too. Just add a little under a 1/4 cup and reduce it some right before adding the shrimp.
Serves 1 person, or two people who don't want to feel stuffed. Also - This is just a recipe. It won't make you a good cook. If you aren't a good cook, it's not my damn fault.
- 1/2 lb tiger shrimp, peeled
- pasta (you decide)
- 3 medium cloves garlic
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup rich stock (chicken is okay, seafood is better)
- ground pepper & salt
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated parm
- 1/4 cup grated romano
- Chopped basil or parsley for garnish
- Start by getting all of the ingredients laid out and ready to go. Things need to be thrown together rather quickly. Don't forget the pasta! It needs to finish cooking at the exact same time as you add the shrimp, so try and time things for that. It's better to have the pasta done early so ere on that side. The eggs need to be beaten.
- Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Not too hot! If the oil's too hot you'll burn the garlic (which is bad). When the oil is hot press the garlic into the pan and let it simmer for a minute. Then add the stock and wine and turn up the heat so that it will reduce by a little over half.
- While the sauce is reducing grind some pepper over the shrimp and add a little salt. If the pasta is almost done about now, that would be a very good thing. You'll be adding it to the pan in about 90 seconds. If it is, drain the pasta but leave it in the colluder. Remember it's still cooking so, drain it just before it's done.
- Turn the heat to medium. Toss the shrimp into the pan with the reduced sauce and spread them out. Be careful not to overcook them. As soon as they all start to look a little pink on the sides, flip them over quickly with tongs. At this point you really need to have your beaten eggs, grated cheese, and cooked (and hot) pasta at hand. Otherwise you're screwed. Just warning ya.
- About 5-10 seconds after you flip over the shrimp, dump in the drained pasta into the pan and then the eggs and then the cheese. This will not look appetizing at all. Don't worry about that. It's suppose to look that way. Really. Spend a minute or two tossing the whole mixture so that the eggs get cooked all through.
- And there ya go. I usually add some shredded fresh basil as a garnish, but you could add parsley or whatever. Any comments? Let me know and I'll include them below.