Gino D’acampo’s Penne with Eggs and Pancetta

Show off your cooking skills with this surprisingly straightforward pasta dish that looks and tastes like something far fancier.

From the king of Italian cooking himself, Gino D’Acampo knows that this combination of salty, crisp pancetta with eggs and pecorino cheese is simply irresistible.

(Serves four)
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 30g salted butter
• 200g diced pancetta
• 4 medium eggs
• 40g freshly grated
pecorino cheese
• 4 tablespoons chopped
fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 500g dried penne rigate
• Salt and freshly ground
black pepper


  1. Fill a large saucepan with 4 litres of water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to the boil over high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the pancetta and fry for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  3. Break the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk lightly. Stir in half the pecorino and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Cook the penne in the boiling water (uncovered) until al dente. To get the perfect al dente bite, cook the pasta 1 minute less than instructed on the packet. Stir every minute or so.
  5. Return the frying pan with the pancetta to high heat for 1 minute.
  6. Drain and tip the penne back into the pan, off the heat. Pour over the egg mixture and the pancetta with its oil. Stir for about 30 seconds to combine.
  7. Transfer to warm plates or bowls. Sprinkle over the remaining pecorino and serve immediately.

Top tip

It’s really important to take the saucepan off the heat when you pour over the egg mixture, otherwise you’ll end up with overcooked eggs and sticky pasta. The heat from the pasta and pancetta will be enough to cook the eggs and give a creamy, moist texture.



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