Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shrimp carbonara

I hope everyone enjoyed their Father's Day weekend, especially all the Fathers out there. As for me, it was a beautiful weekend to get away from the world for a while. Actually, it wasn't away from the world, just from my two little princes for a short while. The holiday weekend coincided with our anniversary, so we decided to head up North without the boys to celebrate our little moment of 11 years. The three-day weekend trip seemed to be so short while we were having so much fun, but at the same time seemed so long to be away from the boys. I was torn with my predicament, but now I am glad to be home again. 

While visiting Napa and San Francisco, we indulged ourself with an incredible amount of food. Not just any food, but various variety of delectable gourmet food ranging from French, Japanese, Italian-Japanese fusion to Thai cuisine.  Beside the food, the wine tasting was also an incredible experience. I learned a thing or two about wine that I was oblivious about before. The weather in Napa was a bit....hmmm.... ok, ok... a BIG.... bit to the extreme where our car thermometer read..... 116 degree on our second day there. But to make up for the heat, the scenery was incrediblebly  romantic and relaxing. At one point, I wish I could afford a place there and get ready for my early retirment:). 

Well, enough with my rambling. If time allows later, I will do a separate post about our trip with full details. Anyway, back to business, today dish is an inspiration from a delicious Japanese-Italian fusion dish that we had a chance to try at the new Morimoto Napa restaurant (yes... the Iron chef Morimoto if you are wondering). The dish we ordered was uni (sea urchin) carbonara, where the Japanese ramen-like noodle was coated in the creamy carbonara sauce and topped with uni and shredded seaweed. It hit the spot!  I really liked the creamy, slightly salty and savory flavor of the sauce in this pasta dish giving the fact that I don't do sea urchin.  I tried to duplicate the dish, and although it was not exactly what I tasted at the restaurant, it is very yummy indeed.


1. 1 box of any egg pasta or any type of pasta (cooked accordingly to the instruction and drained)
2. 5 -6 slices of bacon (cut into 1 inch pieces) or pancetta
3. 15 jumbo shrimps (peeled, deveined)
4. 1 pint of heavy cream and 1/2 pint of milk
5. 1/2 cup of frozen sweet peas
6. 4 cloves of garlic and 4 shallots or a small onion (chopped finely)
7. salt, garlic powder, cracked peppercorn 
8. 2 eggs
9. 2/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
10. 4-5 pieces of anchovy filets (optional)

Cook the pasta al dente accordingly to the instruction, drain and add a couple teaspoons of oil to prevent sticking.

Marinate shrimp with a pinch of salt, garlic powder and cracked pepper and set aside.

In a clean bowl, add egg, cream, parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper and garlic powder. Beat slighltly to combine and set aside

In a large skillet, add the bacon and render the fat until it becomes crispy. Remove and drain in a paper towel. In the same skillet, add the shrimps and 1 tsp of the bacon fat.  Pan-fry the shrimps until they turn pink and lightly brown on both sides (aboute 2-3 min). Remove the shrimps and add in chopped garlic and shallots. Stir until fragrant and lightly caramelized, add the anchovies and break it up until everything combines.  

Add in sweet pea and stir for a few minutes until soften. Add the cream mixture and the pasta in the skillet and stir quickly. Adjust the seasoning to taste and remove from heat. 

Transfer the pasta on the plate, top it with pan-fried shrimp and crispy bacon bits. If you have some truffle oil on hand, feel free to drizzle it on top like I did for more intense flavor. Serve hot immediately. Bon appetite everyone!

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