Lemony Cacio e Pepe e Pancetta e Limone e Arugula


Super fast to make AND contains all the major food groups:  pancetta, pasta, cheese and garlic, and lemon and arugula which are good for you.

From my new cookbook by my new best friend, Chrissy Teigen (shhhhh — she doesn’t know it yet)!


Kosher salt
12 ounces dried spaghetti
1/4 pound (about 3/4 cup) pancetta or bacon, finely diced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (about 4 big cloves) minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
2 cups baby arugula

and don’t forget to save a cup of pasta water!


  1. In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (it comes in handy), then drain the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until crisped, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the olive oil, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the skillet, then toss in the drained pasta and toss to coat. Add the Parm and toss, adding the pasta water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, just to help the cheese coat the pasta–plus it makes the sauce silky and . . . unctuous (is that word?). Add the arugula and toss until it wilts, about 1 minute. Season to taste with additional salt, lots of black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve with more Parm.

As Chrissy and I like to say to each other: ¬†This is the best — like go-to-sleep-grinning because what we just made was just so painfully, achingly incredible!!

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