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Spring green pea carbonara

This recipe is a little lighter than some other pasta dishes because it uses no cream; instead, the creaminess of the sauce comes from the egg yolks.



  • 400 grams dry spaghetti
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2–1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, defrosted if frozen
  • 150–200 grams pancetta, either a whole piece from the deli or a few thick slices (about 1 centimeter each)
  • Pasta cooking water


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the spaghetti until al dente. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, salt, pepper, pecorino, and parsley and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat, chop the pancetta into one centimeter cubes, and cook in the preheated pan to render the fat and caramelize the pancetta. Once golden and crisped, remove the pancetta and pour off all but two tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
  3. When the pasta is done cooking, scoop out about half cup of the starchy pasta water and set aside while you drain the spaghetti. Remove the frying pan from the heat, carefully add the pasta to the frying pan with the hot pancetta fat and add the cooked pancetta and green peas; stir to coat and heat the noodles.
  4. While the noodles heat up a bit, slowly dribble in about three tablespoons of the pasta water into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling.  Pour the egg mixture onto the spaghetti and mix for about five to ten seconds and then transfer everything back into the egg yolk bowl. Continue to stir the spaghetti.
  5. If the sauce seems a bit thick, add a little more of the pasta water about one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Serve topped with a little more pecorino, parsley, and black pepper for an easy spring dinner!

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