Like you, I love a good Spaghetti Carbonara. Egg yolks, not cream. But the yolks in carbonara are cooked only until somewhat thickened, not actually cooked. I have a problem with that. I’m just not a big fan of raw, or partially cooked eggs. Also, most of the time, I like cooking enough so there are leftovers, and mainly because of the egg, carbonara is out. It’s really one of those things you cook, and eat, in the moment.

You know what? Just take the egg out of the equation. With just the pancetta (or Guanciale, if you can find it), olive oil, some garlic, and rich, nutty Pecorino Romano, you’ll have a simple, yet deeply satisfying plate of pasta you’ll love any day of the week. Also, watching the pancetta melt down into next-level goodness is meditation.

Spaghetti with Pancetta & Pecorino Romano

(serves four)


100 grams of sliced pancetta
Spaghetti for four people
About a teaspoon of minced garlic
Pecorino Romano cheese
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes (optional)


1. Cook your pasta in a pot of boiling water salted very well.

2. While the pasta cooks, add the pancetta (sliced into small cubes) to a bit of olive oil in a medium sized pan on medium heat, until it starts to render fat and brown. Add the minced garlic and sauté until slightly browned. Add a bit more olive oil to the pan if needed. Please take a moment to enjoy that mesmerizing aroma of pancetta rendering in front of you.

3. When al dente, use tongs to transfer the spaghetti (with just a bit of pasta water) to the pan with the pancetta and garlic. Alternatively, you can reserve a bit of pasta water, and then drain the pasta before adding to the pancetta.

4. Toss the spaghetti in the pancetta, garlic and oil, and then quickly grate in some Pecorino Romano to taste. Serve hot with cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes and a Pinot grigio if you want. Enjoy!

Really want that egg? Up your carbonara game with Lessons from the school of spaghetti carbonara.