Carbonara?

This is probably going to shock some of you, I've never had a carbonara sauce.  Nope.  Never.  At least not that I remember.  Yes, I'm half Italian.  Yes, I love Italian food.  No, I've never had a carbonara sauce.  When confronted with Italian food I tend to gravitate towards the red sauces, the spicier the better usually, though I do love my Grandma Cicero's sauce (and I think DeGidio's in St. Paul stole her recipe for sauce and her meatballs) which is just a good red sauce, no meat, just good sauce.  Our standard sauce at home is a bolognese I make from a recipe we got from our Kenwood wine club years ago.  I make a big batch and freeze it.  It's amazing.  A whole bottle of merlot goes in that sauce.

So back to white sauces, no I don't usually order them.  It's not that I don't like them, I just like red sauces more and I'm picky about my red sauces because, well, I'm spoiled with my Grandmother's and Kenwood's recipes that I make in my very own kitchen.

This Saturday we found ourselves, once again, at Sunrise Creative Gourmet in St. Paul.  I just had to get more of the lemon pepper linguini and butternut squash ravioli so Dave could try them.  I had to let Tom know how much I enjoyed the pasta and how truly good it was!  I was expecting something like Rosetto or maybe Buitoni.  Buitoni is better than Rosetto but both, in my opinion taste, well, processed.  They taste nothing like my homemade.  This is not true with the pasta from Sunrise Creative Gourmet.  It is good.  It is very good.  It rivals my homemade and is much faster to prepare.  It's also reasonably priced.  A 12-ounce package is just $5, which is at least three servings, if not four.

So you want to know about carbonara, right?  While I was there Tom asked me to try their carbonara sauce.  How could I say no?  Tom explained that a traditional carbonara has egg in it but because of packaging limitations there was none in this sauce.  He suggested that when I add my noodles to the sauce I stir in an egg. 

We decided to have the carbonara that night.  We just couldn't wait!  So when we got home from errands I started a loaf of bread.  Dave requested my braided Italian bread.  It's so good!


Before I used the sauce I did a little research.  I found out that carbonara is typically served over spaghetti but that other pastas work fine.  I also found that Ree Drummond has a recipe for carbonara that I will definitely be trying!  I've already Pinned the recipe.

On to the Sunrise Carbonara sauce!


I decided to put the carbonara over some bucatini.  I prefer it to spaghetti, it has a bit better texture in my opinion.  I get my bucatini at The Olive Grove Olive Oil Company.


I warmed up the sauce while the pasta was cooking and I added some peas and asparagus because I just couldn't help myself! 

Once the pasta was almost done I added it to the sauce along with a little pasta water and, as Tom suggested, an egg.


Once that was mixed in I added some shrimp I sauteed in some garlic EVOO from the Olive Grove and then I shaved in some fresh Parmesan cheese.


Like I said I've never had a Carbonara before so I really have nothing to which I can compare this sauce.  I can say both Dave and I really liked it.  It's rich and creamy without being too heavy.  The bacon flavor comes through without being overwhelming and, as with the Parmesan Sage Sauce, the sauce has a pepper finish we both really liked.  There was just a hint of pepper heat.


Again, I have to recommend you check out the shop if you are in the Twin Cities.  Say hi to Tom!  If you're not in the Twin Cities they do ship, even the frozen pasta!  It's definitely worth a try!


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