Penne a la Carbonara

i just made the most amazing pasta carbonara.  and now i must show you how to make it, so you can be over joyed with the same happiness.  this recipe is from giada delaurentiis’ cookbook “everyday italian”.

this recipe serves 4.

Penne a la Carbonara
1 pound pancetta, diced into 1-inch cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pound dried penne
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat a large saute pan, until hot. Add pancetta and saute until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Season with black pepper and remove pan from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish.

In a large pot, boil 6 quarts of salted boiling water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse with water; you want to retain the pasta’s natural starches so that the sauce will stick. While the pasta is still hot, return it back to the pot. Add the browned pancetta and mix well. Add the cream mixture and coat the pasta completely. It’s important to work quickly while the pasta is still warm so that the cream mixture will cook, but not curdle. Add remaining Parmesan and chopped parsley.


  • i’m not sure if i’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again.  there is no substitute for freshly grated parmesan cheese.  so grate the cheese yourself.
  • any short cut pasta would work best.  i used campanelle.
  • if you don’t want to buy or can’t find pancetta, use bacon.  essentially it’s the same type of meat, both made from pork bellies.  bacon is smoked; pancetta is the italian version of bacon except it’s cured with salts and lots of pepper.
  • if you have any other questions email me at

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