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No Cream Pasta Carbonara

Using the magic of eggs, create a creamy sauce flecked with salty bacon to serve with your favourite pasta

October 31, 2017

No Cream Pasta Carbonara

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ingredients for four

320gm pasta (fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti are best shapes)
1 tsp salt flakes
200gm pancetta
1 x 200gm brown onion
1 x medium clove garlic
3 x extra large eggs at room temperature
1 to 2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 x medium zucchini (optional)
75gm grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring large pot of water to the boil. Add salt.
  2. Plunge pasta in water and bring back to the boil quickly with lid on. Once boiling stir with tongs to separate and leave lid off. Turn heat down so water is still on a frisky boil, but not bubbling over.
  3. While pasta is cooking for 10 to 12 minutes, prepare remaining components.
  4. Heat large frying pan over high heat.
  5. Remove skin and cut pancetta into ½cm dice. Fry pancetta in pan with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
    Meanwhile, peel and finely chop onion. Add to pancetta in pan and continue to fry, browning pancetta and softening onion.
  6. Run zucchini through a spiraliser or a julienne mandolin to form long spaghetti-like strings. Place in colander in sink ready to drain pasta once done.
  7. Whisk eggs together in large bowl, season with 1 tsp salt and a couple of pinches pepper and stir through three-quarters of the grated parmesan.
  8. Drain pasta over zucchini in colander. The hot water will soften and cook it perfectly. Using tongs toss spaghetti to cool a little and allow steam to disperse. Place pasta and zucchini back into warm pan
  9. Add warm onion, pancetta and garlic into pan then pour on egg mixture with half the parsley. Toss with tongs to allow eggs to partially cook and create creamy sauce.
  10. Serve carbonara topped with remaining parmesan and parsley.

cooks notes:

  • The trick to getting a creamy sauce is to have the pasta and eggs at just the right temperature. Too cold and the egg will remain runny. Too hot and the egg will scramble as you toss it through. Either way as long as fresh eggs are used you can still eat the dish!
  • Replace pancetta with bacon.
  • Make a super-quick version using diced ham and chives rather than frying bacon and onion.
  • Add mushrooms to the onion and pancetta or even wilt some chopped spinach.
  • My family loves this with dressed salad leaves piled on the top as serving. The acidity from the vinaigrette cuts through and balances the creamy salty sauce.
  • Ensure the pasta is well drained as the zucchini emits some water once cooked.

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Meet the team

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

View Tracey’s full profile.

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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