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Spaghetti with Eggs, Pancetta and Pecorino Romano

Carbonara is the Italian word for 'charcoal burner', so some people believe this dish was first made for charcoal workers in the Apennine mountains. The general view now, though, is that it was an urban dish invented in Rome. Note that cream is not used in an authentic carbonara, so none is included below. Fettuccine or bucatini can be substituted for the more usual spaghetti.


  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 250g diced pancetta

  • 4 eggs

  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino cheese

  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 500g spaghetti

  • salt and black pepper to taste


  • 1.

    Heat the oil and butter in large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the pancetta for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and crispy. Set aside.

  • 2.

    Whisk the eggs and half the cheese in a bowl. Add the parsley and plenty of black pepper. Set aside.

  • 3.

    Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling, salted water until al dente.

  • 4.

    Drain well and tip it back into the same pan.

  • 5.

    Tip the contents of the pancetta pan into the pasta, then pour in the egg mixture. Mix everything together for 30 seconds with a wooden spoon.

  • 6.

    The heat from the pasta will be sufficient to cook the egg to a creamy coating.

  • 7.

    Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with the remaining cheese sprinkled on top.


Extracted from GINO’S ITALIAN ECSAPE by Gino D’Acampo
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 14th September 2013
Priced: £20
Pictures ©Matt Russell

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