There was a period in my life where I ordered carry out a lot. Like, A LOT alot. So often, you guys. And one of my favorite things to get was Chicken Carbonara from Buca di Beppo. I always ordered a small and split it with my oldest son, but ordering $26 in pasta is not a financially sustainable hobby.
I set out to find a copycat chicken carbonara recipe and was super pumped to find this video by actual Buca di Beppo! Only problem was that aside from the sauce, the chef doesn’t actually share any measurements. After a couple attempts, I’ve finally figured out a ratio that works for me, and I’m here to share it with you!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my full disclosures here.
Alright, so let’s talk about what I’ve learned in this process. First up is chicken prep. The Buca di Beppo chicken was pan-fried and then sliced. I tried this the first time I made it, and it was fine. I have awful knife skills (I should probably work on that) so my chicken wasn’t sliced super consistently. I’m also super impatient, so pan frying an entire breast, letting it rest and cool and then slicing? Not my speed. I’ve taken to cutting up the chicken, then pan frying the little cubes in my cast iron skillet. Is the chicken as tender as Buca di Beppo’s way? No. Is it a time saver? Yes. Ultimately, how you prepare your chicken is completely up to you so do what works best for you.
The other thing you need to know is that your flavor is largely dependent on the type of Alfredo sauce you use. This recipe calls for 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of Alfredo. You’ll clearly be “watering down” the flavor with the cream, but it still comes through. Personally, I struggle with store bought Alfredo; the flavor of most that I’ve found is just off. You can make your own, of course, or if you have a favorite store bought, use that (and then comment below with your favorite store bought brand so I can check it out).
If you’re adding peas to your carbonara, frozen is totally okay. You guys know from my Easy Chicken Fried Rice recipe that I’m a lazy cook and love shortcuts. And in this recipe, frozen peas work great! I mean, you already have an open bag in your freezer from making chicken fried rice, right?
And if you’re wondering what pan I used for all of this, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I use my wok for all kinds of dishes, this one included. Since I got it in June, I’ve used it at least twice a week. Not sure how I went so long without one!
- 1 lb chicken breast pan fried + sliced
- 16 oz spaghetti cooked
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz prosciutto chopped
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup prepared Alfredo sauce
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add prosciutto and saute until just beginning to brown. Add garlic and saute for one additional minute.
Add cooked chicken, heavy cream and Alfredo sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring to prevent sticking.
Add black pepper and peas. Simmer over medium until sauce thickens slightly.
Remove pan from heat. Add pasta to pan with sauce and toss until well incorporated.
So getting back to my earlier question, do you have a favorite store bought Alfredo sauce? What about a favorite Alfredo recipe? Share with me in the comments below, please! I’m on the hunt.