Creamy Carbonara with Bacon, Grilled Shrimp, & Fresh Sourdough Garlic Bread

Recipe card at the bottom of post!


Valentine’s Day is a day to indulge, am I right? This recipe is obviously far from paleo, and I am OK with that! It was amazingly delicious, and surprisingly simple. The sauce comes out thick, creamy, and full of bacon-y flavor. I have always loved Giada’s carbonara recipe, so I pretty much followed that one – with a few changes. Here is my method:

Ingredients for the Carbonara:

Olive oil

7 oz bacon, cut into lardons

1 box spaghetti pasta

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

8 egg yokes

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I used Thai basil today, because it was what was on hand at my grocery store here, island living!)

1 tbs dried parsley

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the Shrimp:

1 lb shrimp (mine had about 14 shrimp in the pound, so they were pretty large)

Olive oil

Salt to taste

Garlic powder to taste

Pepper to taste

Paprika (creates a gorgeous color after being grilled)

Ingredients for the Sourdough Garlic Bread:

1 lg sourdough loaf, sliced

1 stick butter, softened

3 tbs parmesan cheese

1 tbs chopped fresh basil

2 tsp dried parsley

3 cloves of garlic, chopped small


Start first by cleaning and deveining your shrimp if it is not already done. I left the tails on, but you don’t have to.


Sprinkle the shrimp with olive oil. Season to your taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder – and then sprinkle with a touch of paprika. Cover and let sit in the fridge while you prep the rest of the meal.


To get the garlic sourdough bread started, slice the loaf into 1/2 inch slices. Look at how gorgeous this loaf is from our local Safeway bakery!



Mix the softened butter, parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, and garlic in a bowl until well combined.




Smear the compound butter onto your sourdough bread and then lay the slices on a baking sheet.


When your about 10 minutes from eating, pop the bread into a 400* oven for 10 mins. After ten minutes, if the bread is not browned as much as you’d like, broil on 500* for an additional 2 minutes.


Slice and keep warm for serving.


To start the carbonara, bring a large pot with water to a boil for the pasta. When the water is boiling, add in a small handful of salt to the cooking water (this is the only time you can flavor the pasta itself!). Add pasta and cook per packaged directions. In another pan, crisp up your bacon. When the bacon is crisp, add in the garlic – being carful not to brown the garlic too much.


Once the garlic is fragrant, remove the pan from the heat. While you are waiting for your pasta to cook, separate your yokes into a large bowl.


Add to the bowl the cream, basil, parsley, and parmesan. Stir to combine.




Set mixture aside.

When the pasta is 2 minutes from being fully cooked, return the pan with the bacon and garlic back to the heat. Re warm on medium heat. When the pasta is done, take it directly from the cooking water into the pan with the bacon and garlic.


Stir to combine.


Pour in your egg / cream / herb / cheese mixture and continue to toss the pasta with the sauce.

Continue tossing and cooking for 5 minutes. Be carful not to let the sauce actually boil or you risk scrambling the eggs. Keep tossing until the sauce gets thick and creamy. Pour into a large bowl and cover while the shrimp cook.




To cook the shrimp, preheat a grill on high heat. Skewer seasoned shrimp. Grill on high heat for around 3 minutes a side (if you are using large shrimp like I did. Adjust the time down if you are using smaller shrimp, or up if you are using colossal size. You will know the shrimp are done when the are no longer a clearish  color and are more white and firm.


To serve, use tongs to grab the carbonara and swirl onto the plate. Top with grilled shrimp and sliced garlic bread. Seriously, guys, this one was a huge hit! So delicious and decadent. This recipe can contend with the best of Italian restaurants!


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