Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara
1/2 pound medium raw shrimp
1/2 small red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
8 ounces uncooked pasta; spaghetti, linguine or fettuccini
1/4 pound smoky uncooked bacon, chopped*
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 2-3 breasts
6 tablespoons flour, divided
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons butter
1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cups fat-free half and half
Black pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
Fresh parsley, snipped for garnish
Peel and devein shrimp; if desired cut shrimp into pieces, set aside.
According to package directions, cook pasta to al dente stage, drain and rinse. Keep pasta warm while preparing sauce and meat.
Scramble fry bacon until crisp; drain well and set aside.*
Cut chicken into bite size cubes; place in a plastic bag with 3 tablespoons flour, Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt; close bag and gently shake to coat chicken pieces. Heat oil in a Dutch oven with a lid (non-stick pan preferred), add chicken and pepper strips, stir fry until chicken is browned and cooked. Add cooked bacon, garlic and about 1/4 to 1/3-cup chicken broth, cover pan, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes while preparing sauce (add additional chicken broth, as needed, to keep pan from simmering dry).
Over medium heat, melt butter in saucepan, add 3-tablespoons flour and stir to blend; whisk in fat-free half-n-half, stir constantly until sauce thickens. Add cheese and stir to blend and melt; salt and pepper to taste.
Add raw shrimp and peas to simmering chicken, cover and continue to cook until shrimp turns pink. Add sauce and cooked drained pasta, gently stir to coat pasta and chicken with sauce. Garnish with snipped parsley, serve hot.
Carbonara is an Italian term used to describe a heavy cream sauce made with eggs and bits of smoky bacon. This is my tasty, and much lower in fat, version to the popular dish. Recipe serves 8
* Pre-cooked bacon works well in this recipe, choose a flavorful brand, substitute approximately 1/3-cup cooked.