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Romantic Lobster Carbonara is an easy date-night or Valentine’s Day dish that you’re going to LOVE. Thanks to some simple ingredients that aren’t difficult to find–you can have this dinner ready in 30 minutes! And it’s even more fun to make with a partner, and with a glass of wine, perhaps?
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This dish is really a favorite of mine! Imagine it: chunks of lobster in creamy, garlicky, bacon-y, parmesan cream sauce? It doesn’t get much better than that! Just a bonus? It’ll make your kitchen smell incredible while it’s cooking.
Lobster Carbonara, or plain carbonara’s roots are generally traced back to Rome. However the origins are unknown. Many believe that this is a signature dish created by American soldiers stationed in Italy during WW1. I am a fan of that theory because I just don’t know a lot of classically Italian dishes that coat pasta in bacon grease, that seems very American to me! In any case, this dish dates back to the 1940’s and many other recipes build upon this basic egg and cheese sauce!
What does carbonara taste like
Carbonara is incredibly luxurious! Carbonara sauce has a distinctive bacon base, combined with creamy sauce made with starchy, salty, pasta water, garlic notes, and parmesan. With the addition of the Lobster chunks and a squeeze of lemon juice, you’re going to be in heaven!
- Pasta - you’re going to be using regular spaghetti or bucatini for the best results!
- Salt - salt the pasta water for a better taste. Use kosher salt, though. Not iodized salt. It has a metallic flavor and doesn’t taste as nice.
- Reserved pasta water - for thinning out the carbonara sauce.
- Olive oil - for sauteing in the pan.
- Peppered bacon - if you don’t have peppered bacon, just add some pepper to your bacon!
- Shallot - to build flavor. Shallot has a sweet onion and mild garlic flavor.
- Garlic - to add that classic garlicky zing to your dish!
- Red pepper flakes - to add a bit of a kick. If you hate spice, leave it out.
- Lobster tail - you cannot have lobster carbonara without a lobster tail!
- Eggs - to create that classic carbonara sauce.
- Parmesan cheese - use Parmesan Reggiano for the best flavor.
- Heavy cream - this isn’t a traditional ingredient but it makes it creamier and I love the addition.
- Butter - everything's better with butter.
- Pepper - freshly cracked pepper is best.
- Lemon juice - just a squeeze on top of your pasta. It’s a nice addition and adds some much needed acidity to balance out the bacon and cheese flavors.
The cooking process
- After you’ve cooked your pasta and gotten your ingredients prepped, saute the bacon.
- Get it crispy. This takes about 8 minutes.
- Add garlic and shallot. Saute until fragrant.
- Add lobster meat. Saute it until it’s opaque.
- Next you're going to whisk the eggs together until they’re smooth.
- Then you’re going to add the grated cheese and heavy cream.
- Whisk it until it’s smooth.
- Then toss the pasta with the egg mixture (slowly). Add the butter and reserved pasta water as needed until the sauce is smooth and noodles are coated.
What kind of pasta to use for carbonara
You can really use any pasta you like but I am not a fan of using anything but regular spaghetti and Bucatini. Either are going to be a hit! The reason being–if you use penne, I just feel like the insides of the penne get coated with too much parmesan, it’s not as easy to toss, and it’ll taste unbalanced in the end.
- Have everything measured and ready to go before you start to cook. It’ll make the process go so much faster.
- Use Parmesan Reggiano for the best flavor. You cannot really use pre-shredded cheese for this recipe -it just won’t melt or taste as nice. Go the extra mile and shred your parmesan! It’s doubtful that you’ll ever go back to pre-shredded, though!
- Make grating cheese easier. Get a rotary cheese grater(like this one) to make grating cheese a breeze!
More recipes like this
- 1 lb pasta
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 4 slices peppered bacon see recipe notes*
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 lobster tail shell removed, meat cut into bite sized cubes
- 4 large eggs or 5 small eggs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated.
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp pepper
- lemon wedges for serving
FOR THE PASTA
- Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions with a teaspoon or two of kosher salt. After the pasta is cooked, reserve one cup of starchy pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta into a colander, toss it with olive oil to keep it from sticking together, and set the pasta aside.
FOR THE CARBONARA
- In a dutch oven (or deep pan) over medium heat saute the bacon for 8-10 minutes, or until it is fairly crispy.
- Add the garlic, and shallot. Add red pepper flakes. Saute. Add the lobster meat. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the lobster meat is opaque.
- Remove from the heat and toss the pasta into the dutch oven. Toss.
- Whisk together the eggs until they’re smooth. Add the parmesan cheese and heavy cream.
- While continuously tossing the pasta, slowly pour in the egg, cheese, and cream mixture.
- By the tablespoon, add the starchy pasta water until the sauce is thinned out to your liking.
- Top with a pat of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of freshly cracked pepper. Serve immediately!