Happy Wednesday! Graeyson, who has become the official taste-tester of The Nilsen Pantry, and I caught a flight from San Francisco to San Diego last night to visit my husband. Yes, kind of a weird situation my husband and I have. He is in the military and so for now this is how our lives are! So, we will be reporting to you from sunny San Diego!

IMG_7817 (1)

I love the weather in San Diego! Even though it is only about 500 miles from where Graeyson and I live it sometimes it seems like a completely different world when it comes to the weather, especially in the winter. We spent our whole winter this year in San Diego and I believe it rained once and not even for an entire day! At home they had a couple of flash flood warnings! The humidity in San Diego is much higher as well. You could probably where shorts 365 days a year, okay maybe 363 days.


The food here is fabulous! I have never found a place with more variety, uniqueness and flavor. I usually go home with lots of inspiration for cooking in the kitchen when I leave San Diego.


Before we had Graey, we would go to nice restaurants occasionally and actually get to savor, chew and enjoy all the food we ordered. Now, I don’t even think I get the chance to swallow my food!

We used to go to this restaurant called Primavera in Coronado. It was a lovely, quaint, quiet restaurant. Super romantic! I always wanted them to prepare a dish that wasn’t on the menu! It was similar to this Shrimp Carbonara, however, I have made my health tweaks to this dish.


My Shrimp Carbonara tastes like Shrimp Scampi meets Alfredo meets Carbonara. I realize none of those are even healthy, but trust me this version is. I also use brown rice noodles, so it is gluten-free! It is creamy, garlicky, salty, sweet, meaty, yummy, seriously do you need me to keep going!

Enjoy and don’t be too jealous that Graey and I are sunning it up in sunny San Diego!

Shrimp Carbonara
Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5
**Side Note: Cook the pasta a couple minutes less than the package instructions. You want it to be al dente because it is going to cook a little more once the heat from the bacon sets on there. You don’t want it to be mushy!
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp or prawns
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package of linguine (I used brown rice noodles)
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 eggs yolks
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (full-fat), mix cream and water in the can well before measuring out
  • 1 package of turkey bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Fill a large pot with water, a good pinch of salt and a couple splashes of olive oil. Once it begins to boil throw in your pasta and cook as directed. (See note in summary)
  2. While the pasta is cooking grab a medium sized bowl and add your eggs yolks, coconut milk, and 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Add half of the scallions, 2 garlic cloves and the chopped shallot to the cooked turkey bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes
  4. In a medium sized skillet melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil.
  5. Add in the other two garlic cloves and the shrimp.
  6. Cook shrimp until it is pink
  7. Once the pasta is done cooking, drain the water but do not rinse.
  8. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pasta and mix it around the help separate the pasta.
  9. Add the cream mixture to the pasta and mix well
  10. Add in the ingredients that were in the skillet with the bacon and gently mix
  11. Pour the entire skillet with shrimp, liquid and all into the pasta pot and mix well.
  12. The oils from the shrimp skillet will help to keep the sauce thinner as well as add more flavor


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *