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Carbonara di Mare

Ivi  VaccaIvi Vacca
Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Carbonara di Mare
Image: Ivi Vacca
1 / 2
15 min.
10 min.
25 min.
"Carbonara di Mare is a feast for the senses - a favorite combination of products, which creates the perfect dish"


  • pasta - 8.8 oz (250 g) spaghetti, tagliatelle, rigatoni or another
  • seafood - 14 oz (400 g) mussels, shrimp, octopus
  • yolks - 2 pcs.
  • grated parmesan - 1.7 oz (50 g)
  • cooking cream - 3 1/3 tbsp (50 ml) or milk/wine
  • salt - by taste
  • black pepper - by taste
  • olive oil - extra virgin
  • hot pepper - by taste
  • onion - 1/2 pc.
  • garlic - 2 cloves
  • ham - 3.5 oz (100 g) or bacon

How to cook

Carbonara sauce is a typical dish of Lazio and especially Rome. The classic recipe involves the use of spaghetti, but also other types of pasta, which go well with carbonara, such as penne and rigatoni. The main ingredients of the dressing are eggs, bacon and pecorino romano.

Today, there are several versions of the classic carbonara, such as carbonara di mare, which includes the use of seafood, or vegetable carbonara, in which vegetables are popular (zucchini and artichoke) and take their place in the classic recipe. Today I will share with you a recipe on how to prepare an attractive and delicious carbonara di mare.

Carbonara di mare is quite a complicated dish, if you're using fresh seafood, because it requires time and knowledge in cleaning and processing, which requires a lot of time to prepare.

Let's start by washing the white mussels (if you're using any) in cold salted water for at least 2 hours, then rinse them thoroughly and leave them to open up, by placing them in a pan covered with a lid, in olive oil and a trickle of white wine.

Carefully clean the black mussels under running water and prepare them, by using the same procedure as for the white mussels. Clean the shrimp tails by removing the intestines (the black thread). Cook the shrimp tails and calamari in slightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes. This is our preparation, before we put them in the carbonara sauce.

When using frozen, processed and cleaned shrimp, mussels and other seafood, the whole time is reduced to 10 minutes.

In a large non-stick pan, fry the finely chopped onion, garlic and a pinch of crushed chili pepper, for a few moments with a drizzle of oil (optional - olive oil or another), then add the frozen seafood (optional) and cook them for 2 minutes on medium heat. This is the moment to add finely chopped bacon, if you're using any. If you have choosen ham, add it to the egg mixture.

Reduce the heat to medium, add a trickle of wine, season with salt and Italian spices of your choice. Stew and boil for about 5 minutes. When done, pull it aside. Add finely chopped fresh parsley and remove the pan from the heat.

Boil the pasta al dente or half of the cooking time for the pasta (as written on the package).

In a bowl, beat the yolks and mix them with the milk or cooking cream, grated pecorino (parmesan), ham and a pinch of salt (if you're not using cooking cream or milk, add a tablespoon of water from the pasta) until a smooth and homogeneous cream is obtained. Put the pan back on low heat and strain the al dente pasta.

Add the al dente pasta to the creamy sauce and stir. Continue to cook on low heat for about seven minutes, by stirring the sauce lightly, until the pasta is ready. Make sure that the hob is on low heat, so that the yolks do not boil!

If you are worried about this step, just boil the pasta and while it is hot, add the cooking cream (milk) with pecorino and egg yolks.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir well.

Serve the pasta carbonara di mare, sprinkle it generously with freshly ground black pepper and serve it immediately. Enjoy your meal!


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