Sponsored by Maine Bay & Berry Co.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Nothing beats a pasta dish with fresh seafood! We hit the 814 Kitchen to whip up this delicious dish from Maine Bay & Berry Co.! Shaun Knight, co-owner of Maine Bay & Berry, joins Studio 814’s Morgan Koziar in the 814 Kitchen to show just how easy it is to create this creamy and delicious Shrimp Carbonara.

It all starts with the best ingredients! Maine Bay & Berry Co. brings back fresh seafood from the coast of Maine right here in Central Pennsylvania.

Ingredients you will need for this yummy Shrimp Carbonara:

  • SHRIMP– Look for fresh or frozen raw shrimp from Maine Bay and Berry. It will save you time if it comes peeled, deveined, and tail-off. You can use jumbo shrimp instead of colossal.
  • PASTA– Long shape pasta such as spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine is perfect for this Shrimp Carbonara that has a creamy yet not heavy sauce.
  • SAUCE – Made with raw eggs, garlic, black pepper, salt, softened butter, and cheese plus the pasta water. For an egg-free version, skip the eggs and use ½ to 1 cup of heavy cream instead, depending on the amount of starchy pasta water added (some use also cream cheese). According to Recipes from Italy, the traditional Italian carbonara sauce often uses 4 ingredients only: raw eggs, Pecorino, black pepper, and pasta water instead of those extra ingredients in our recipe (butter, garlic, and salt). If you want, add red pepper flakes too!
  • SMOKED BACON– It’s more budget-friendly. You can use pancetta or guanciale (cured bacon from pork cheeks used in Italy for Carbonara) instead, but regular bacon (thick-cut) works well.
  • CHEESE– Use Pecorino Romano and/or Parmigiano-Reggiano instead. Make sure to taste the cheese before adding it to the pasta dish. Pecorino tends to be a bit saltier, asking us to use less salt in the sauce. The cheese is the same used for the sauce and to serve over the pasta.
  • WATER– Make sure to reserve ½ to 1 cup of pasta water which will make the sauce creamy without having to add heavy cream to the pasta recipe. But if you skipped the egg yolk, use part water and part cream in the recipe to make the sauce creamy.
  • GARNISH – Garnish our shrimp carbonara with extra chopped parsley and cheese!
  1. To make this quick dinner recipe, cook the pasta: Boil enough water, a hint of olive oil, and about 1 tablespoon of salt in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions in the package or until al dente. Spaghetti takes about 8-10 minutes to cook! Reserve one cup of the starchy pasta water and then drain pasta. 
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce base: In a food processor or blender, add the egg and yolk, butter, cheese, garlic, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Blend for about 15 seconds or until it is creamy. Stop and scrape the sides down as needed. Reserve the mixture! 
  3. Cook the bacon and shrimp: In a large pan or skillet, sauté the chopped bacon over medium heat until it is brown and crispy. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. 
  4. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan. Pat dry the shrimp with a paper towel, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and then add the shrimp to the bacon grease in the pan. Cook over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, or just until the shrimp turns pink. Transfer the shrimp to the plate with the bacon. 
  5. Finish to make the sauce and toss the pasta: Heat the same skillet over medium heat and pour in 1 cup of reserved starchy pasta hot water to deglaze the bottom of the skillet (or ¾ cup only for a thicker sauce). Then, turn off the heat so you will not wind up with scrambled eggs!!! Just then add the reserved egg/cheese mixture and stir until creamy. Stir in the parsley, bacon and shrimp, and then toss the cooked pasta until coated. NOTE: For a creamier sauce, add ½ cup heavy cream when mixing the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta water.
  6. Serve shrimp carbonara topped with extra cheese and extra chopped parsley!