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Oyster Carbonara

Brad Arender

Servings: 4

Taking classic spaghetti carbonara over the top, this dish pairs the pasta dish with crispy fried oysters, for unexpectedly delicious results.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 8 oz. dried spaghetti
  • 4 strips smoked good-quality bacon, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 12 shucked Louisiana oysters with liqueur
  • 6 eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon


  • In a bowl combine flour, 10 grinds of pepper, and 2 tsp salt.
  • Preheat the oil over medium heat to 350°F.
  • Begin to cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted water according to package directions.
  • Render the bacon slowly in a skillet over medium-low heat; when cooked, add the shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Remove the oysters from the liqueur, trying to retain as much liquid as possible. Place the oysters in the flour and coat completely. Dip them in the beaten egg, and then place them in the breadcrumbs and coat completely.
  • Fry the oysters in the oil until golden brown and crispy; set aside on a paper towel and season with salt.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and chicken stock into the oyster liqueur.
  • When the pasta is 1 minute away from being finished, remove it from the boiling water and place it in the skillet with the bacon. Add the liqueur/yolk mixture. Cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens and coats the pasta. Grate in half of the Parmigiano, and toss to coat the pasta. Season with black pepper.
  • Place the pasta in a bowl and the fried oysters around it. Grate the remaining Parmigiano over the entire dish. Finish with the grated lemon zest.


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