It’s August, and that means it’s almost time for back to school. Can you believe it?! Back to school means more hectic evenings and weekdays. It also means dinnertime might be a bit more hectic. Use that leftover farmers market corn for Corn and Shrimp Carbonara, a perfect ode to the end of summer.
What Is Carbonara?
Pasta Carbonara might sound fancy, but it’s actually so simple! Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish stemming from Rome.
Carbonara sauce is actually incredibly simple: all you need is egg, cheese, and black pepper. Add in a little pasta water, and you are all ready to go!
This dish is often done very wrong in restaurants, so many people think of Carbonara as a super heavy and creamy pasta dish. It’s not! The sauce is supposed to be smooth and silky. You don’t even need cream!
You’ll make the sauce by beating eggs and mixing them with parmesan cheese.
Next, to make the sauce, you’ll use pasta water to temper the egg. Tempering is simple – essentially, you’re just warming up the egg, so when you add it to the pasta, it will keep a saucy consistency, and not turn into scrambled eggs!
Because nobody wants scrambled eggs in their pasta, am I right?!
So now that we know what carbonara is, let’s talk about this delicious corn and shrimp carbonara recipe!
About the Recipe: Shrimp Carbonara
When I thought of this combo, I was afraid my Italian ancestors would be rolling in their grave. They might be, but this turned out pretty delicious.
The sweetness of the corn really compliments the saltiness of the parmesan. And the shrimp add a bit of a kick to this classic creamy dish.
When I was in Italy, Carbonara was the first dinner we had. I distinctly remember how it was perfect. It was creamy, it was rich, it was heavenly. It felt like home.
Since that experience was so great, I’ve been scared to try to make it myself. I didn’t want to taint the perfect Carbonara picture in my head.
Well, I threw in the towel and decided to try it. And I gave it a twist. And it turned out great! What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear if you give this a try!
Common Carbonara Questions:
Is Carbonara the same as Alfredo?
Carbonara and Alfredo are two different Italian pasta sauces. Alfredo is a cream based sauce, while Carbonara is an egg and cheese based sauce.
What is Carbonara made of?
Carbonara is an Italian pasta sauce made with egg, cheese, black pepper, and pasta water.
Is it safe to eat the eggs in carbonara?
Yes, it is safe to eat the eggs in carbonara. You will temper the eggs, so they will get cooked by the hot pasta water.
Is white sauce and carbonara the same?
White sauce is a broad category of Italian pasta sauces. Carbonara would fall into this category since it does not contain tomatoes.
More Pasta Recipes:
Looking for even more delicious pasta recipes? Here are even more recipes to satisfy your pasta craving:
Vodka Sauce Recipe: I love this vodka sauce. It’s SO easy and done in only 15 minutes! It’s the perfect quick dinner for date night or a delicious weeknight.
Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Recipe: This vegan roasted red pepper sauce is SO good. Did I mention it’s only 7 ingredients?! This healthy sauce is very good with pasta shapes with texture, like fusilli or farfalle.
Bruschetta Pasta Recipe: This recipe is a twist on classic bruschetta, but in pasta form! I love the slow roasted tomatoes, they are just decadent in this pasta dish!
Corn and Shrimp Carbonara Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb peeled, raw shrimp
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 lb long pasta (I used spaghetti)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1 cup cooked corn
- extra parmesan for serving
- fresh basil for serving
Corn and Shrimp Carbonara Directions:
Place a large pot full of water on the stove on high heat. Salt water like the sea and let it come to a boil.
Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Let the oil warm for about one minute.
Add the shrimp, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and lemon juice to the pan. Stir well.
Cook shrimp for 5 minutes or until the shrimp is pink throughout. When the shrimp are done, remove from the pan and set aside.
When the water is boiling, add pasta and cook al dente – about 7 minutes.
While pasta is cooking, whisk eggs and parmesan thoroughly. You really want to make sure everything is whisked together well.
Before pasta is done, reserve one cup of pasta water. Then drain pasta and place in a large bowl. Add about 1/4 of the pasta water to the drained pasta. You want enough to coat the pasta. If it doesn’t seem like enough, add in a few more tablespoons.
Next, slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) add in the egg and parmesan mixture to the pasta. Stir quickly with tongs. The hot water and pasta cook the eggs, but you want to add the eggs slowly and stir fast so you don’t get scrambled eggs in your pasta!
When all the eggs are mixed in, you should have a silky-smooth texture. If it’s too thick, you can add in a little more pasta water. If it’s just right, add in your shrimp and corn and stir. Top with more parmesan and fresh basil.