This recipe for Chicken Carbonara by famed chef and cookbook author Giada De Laurentiis is from the Pasta Potluck episode of her Everyday Italian series on the Food Network. If you prefer, you can roast your own chicken at home for this dish. But for ease in preparation, I make it with store-bought rotisserie chicken. Some stores, like Costco and Tom Thumb, also sell sliced rotisserie chicken breast meat in a package by itself.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2½ cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 4 cups coarsely shredded rotisserie chicken (or your own roast chicken), skin & bones removed
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and garlic, and saute until it is brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, cheese, yolks, basil and parsley to blend.
  3. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook until it is just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  4. Add the chicken to the pan with the pancetta and stir to combine. Next, add the spaghetti and the cream mixture. Toss over medium-low heat until the chicken is heated through and the sauce coats the spaghetti thickly, about 4 minutes. (Do not boil or you will end up scrambling the eggs.) Season the pasta, to taste, with salt (if needed, the pancetta will likely add all the salt you need) and pepper.
  5. Transfer the pasta to a large wide serving bowl. Sprinkle the walnuts and lemon zest over the top, and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

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Barbara Walch

Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature,...