This is one of my family's favorite pasta dishes. It is so flavorful and so easy to cook up that I actually make it in front of friends to impress them.
Technique tip: Reserve the pasta water for the sauce. Pour the eggs in gently, without the heat turned on, so that they don't scramble.
Swap option: You can sub whole wheat spaghetti for regular spaghetti.
- 12 ounces spaghetti (about 3/4 box)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup pancetta, chopped
- 1 large shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Line a plate with paper towels. Warm your serving bowl(s) in a low oven.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions to al dente.
3. As the pasta is cooking, in a nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and shallot and cook, stirring, until the pancetta has just become crispy and lightly browned, 4-5 minutes. Spoon the pancetta and shallot onto the paper towel-lined plate and set aside any rendered fat in a small bowl.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with 3 tablespoons of Parmesan. In a stream, whisking vigorously, add the rendered pancetta fat to the eggs.
5. When about a minute remains until the pasta is cooked, add the peas to the pasta water to heat them. Then reserve 1 cup of the pasta water for the sauce and drain the pasta and peas in a colander.
6. Using the same pot in which you made the pasta, but off the burner so you don't cook the eggs too quickly, dump the spaghetti and peas back into the pot, then add in the egg mixture, pancetta and shallot. Toss continuously to prevent the eggs from clumping. Add the reserved pasta water, bit by bit, as needed, to achieve a creamier texture. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Serve immediately, topping each warm bowl with a healthy spoonful of the remaining Parmesan.