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  • Writer's pictureKris Riley

Classic No Cream Carbonara

Updated: Jan 5

There are a few recipes you should have in your meal repertoire, and this is definitely one of them. It's the real deal. True Carbonara NO cream needed or wanted. Ask those who know they'll confirm it's true.

The brilliant creaminess comes when some of the cooked pasta water combines with the pancetta fat and finely freshly shredded parmesan cheese.  And when you add the egg yolks at the very end, it becomes even that much more silky and rich.


3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 8 oz pancetta, chopped into bite sized pieces 1 lb pasta spaghetti 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 4 large fresh egg yolks cracked black pepper 1-2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and pancetta in a med-large saute pan set over medium heat. Cook until the pancetta is crispy and golden and has rendered the fat into the olive oil. Remove from the heat and set aside (do not drain the fat). Cook the spaghetti once the water is at a boil, until just al dente. Remove 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta. Add the reserved pasta water to the pan with the pancetta, stir, and then toss in the pasta and return to the heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add 1 cup of the Parmigiano and pepper to taste, and toss until thoroughly mixed. Divide the pasta among four warmed serving bowls. Make a nest in the center of each one, and gently drop an egg yolk into each nest. Season the egg yolks with more pepper and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano over the top. If you find it not salty enough (although between the bacon or pancetta and the parmesan you should be fine) you can serve some on the table. Garnish with a sprinkling of parsley. Serve immediately. Have each person pierce their egg yolks to release their golden treasure to mix in with the rest of the sauce.

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