- 400g spaghetti
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 200g smoked pancetta cubes or streaky bacon, chopped
Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…
- 3 eggs
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 75ml double cream
- 50g Grana padano or parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
Cook the spaghetti. Bring a large, deep pan of salted water to the boil. Plunge spaghetti into the water, stir well and cook, following pack instructions. Aim for 'al dente': cooked, but retaining some bite in the middle. Take a few strands out of the water with a spaghetti spoon or tongs 1-2 mins before the end of the cooking time and bite into it. Repeat until you think it is properly cooked.
Fry the pancetta. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot, tip in the pancetta or streaky bacon. Fry over a medium heat until the fat in the meat has melted down into the pan and the meat has turned lightly golden. Be careful not to crisp the pancetta too much; it will be cooked a little bit more later on in the recipe. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Prepare the sauce. Crack 2 of the eggs into a mixing bowl. Separate the yolk from the third egg: gently crack the side of the shell and, using both hands, slowly open it into two halves over a separate bowl - you want to keep the yolk in one of the halves. Tip the yolk from one shell half to the other and repeat until all the egg white has fallen into the bowl below, taking care not to crack the yolk on any rough shell edges. Tip the yolk in with the other eggs and beat together, along with the cream, the cheese and some seasoning.
Combine the dish. Add garlic to the pancetta and return frying pan to hob. Fry over high heat for 1 min or until garlic is cooked and pancetta warmed through. Meanwhile, drain spaghetti. Tip back into the hot saucepan off the heat. Pour egg mixture over pasta, followed by hot pancetta, garlic, any fat and oils. Toss quickly and thoroughly with spaghetti spoon or tongs. Mix until it has thickened to a smooth, creamy sauce. Serve with extra cheese and freshly ground pepper.
Lower in fatOmit extra egg yolk, replace double cream with low-fat crème fraîche.
Chilli chickenFry chunks of chicken and a finely chopped deseeded chilli with the pancetta for a meatier version with a kick.