Pasta with Pancetta and Shrimp

A shellfish twist on the traditional spaghetti carbonara!

This recipe, inspired by the Italian spaghetti carbonara, adds shrimp to the traditional pancetta version for an easy dish that comes together quickly. Bowtie pasta is attractive with the halved shrimp, which curl slightly when cooked.

Serves 4


  • ½ cup pancetta, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped scallions or sweet onions
  • ¾ pound shrimp, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 8 ounces bowtie pasta or spaghetti
  • Freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or heavy cream (optional)


Slowly cook the pancetta in a skillet for about 20 minutes. It should be very lightly browned. While the pancetta cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the olive oil, return the pan to the heat, and add the scallions. Cook for 1 minute, or until slightly wilted. Stir in the shrimp, raise the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the shrimp for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not overcook. When done, the shrimp will be pink. Set aside 5 shrimp to use as a garnish. Mix together the eggs and cheese in a large bowl, and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the pasta and salt to the boiling water. Drain thoroughly. While still hot, mix the pasta with the eggs and cheese. Stir in the sour cream, if using, reserved pancetta, and shrimp and scallions. Add black pepper to taste. Garnish with the reserved shrimp. Serve immediately.

From the "Legal Sea Foods Cookbook" by Roger Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer, illustrated by Edward Koren.

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