Sunday, 19 December 2010

Carbonara Cabana

Carbonara is usually enjoyed with fettuccine or spaghetti or tagliatelle, however, when served with penne, it becomes an Italian classic. Originally, a true carbonara sauce is just made out of freshly grated parmesan cheese/pecorino cheese and egg yolk. With time, people starts to diversify and add cream or creme fraiche to the sauce. I always go with both. Italians usually season their carbonara with pancetta (Italian cured bacon) but today I'm gonna do it with seafood. So, let's begin.

What you need:
Non-stick skillet

Ingredients: (serves 2)
4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
Courgette (halved and diced)
Shrimp (as many as you like)
a BIG pinch of pepper
a generous amount of fresh or dried thyme

2 egg yolks, based on serving size. e.g: with 3 people you need 3 egg yolks
200 ml creme fraiche, or 50 ml cream
a handful of grated Parmesan

To start with, boil your pasta in a well-seasoned water. Refer to this for more info. It's an easy-peasy dish, so, you really should try this.

Combine together yolks, creme fraiche and parmesan in a bowl. Whisk them until they are thoroughly combined and put aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the EVOO in the skillet. Throw in garlic, shrimp, and courgette.Saute for a while. Make sure you don't caramelize or burn the garlic. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. If the pasta is not ready and your sauteed ingredients are, put the skillet off the heat for a while and wait for the pasta to be ready.

Once the pasta is ready, drain them quickly while saving some of the pasta water* aside. Toss them into the skillet with the sauteed ingredients. Mix them well together on the heat.

This is when a true carbonara gets serious. Take the skillet off the heat and listen to the frying sound. You are NOT to pour your sauce in now. The heat would be too aggressive for the egg yolks that it might ended up like scrambled eggs. When the sound subsided, pour in the sauce. Off the heat, incorporate the sauce with the pasta. You simply need the heat from the just-cooked pasta to heat the sauce. Add in some of the pasta water in for moisture. You can see by now the lovely sheen has started forming in and around covering your pasta. This comes from the egg yolk, of course.

Now get a big plate or simply serve out of the skillet garnished with some thyme or parsley and olive oil. We are left with just one more thing to do. Eat!! Mamma Mia!!

* EVOO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* pasta water: the water you boil the pasta in

P.S. Mine (image) was a little dry. With a little cream and pasta water it can look better and glossier.


  1. thanks! :D biasa fatin buat dia basah2 mcm ada kuah sikit. definitely akan try yang ni lak :)

  2. with carbonara especially kalau mask dgn penne, dia kena just evenly coated with the sauce..


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