Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

Spaghetti Carbonara italian pasta bacon easy delicious healthy cancer cooking recipes

A delicious take on the classic Spaghetti Carbonara.

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara Recipe for Cancer and Chemotherapy

Ease of Preparation: Intermediate Recipe

Dish Description:
A classic Italian favorite. This dish has been Americanized by utilizing bacon (smoked cured pork belly) instead of pancetta (unsmoked pork belly) or guanciale (pork jowl), as would be used traditionally in Italy. This dish is a favorite in both America and Italy. And like all true Italian dishes, its brilliance is only matched by its simplicity. The single most difficult part of this dish is ensuring that the heat from the noodles cooks the egg sauce, not the heat from the pan. If done correctly, the egg sauce will bake into the noodles, trapping the pepper and the cheese against the noodle and leaving a dry, baked-on sauce.

Tasting Guidelines:
This recipe should taste peppery, cheesy, and savory.
The weight of this recipe is heavy but can be balanced with Italian flat leaf parsley.
The texture of this recipe is dry and noodley.
This recipe is good for people with low treatment side effects.
This recipe gives an emotional response of a good Italian meal at a fancy Italian restaurant.
This recipe is best categorized as authentic Italian.

Food Ingredients:
8 oz. bacon, fatty and chopped into 1/4” strips
4 eggs
8 oz. parmesan cheese, grated (Get good parmesan. Don’t be cheap!)
1 lb. spaghetti, thick or linguine noodle

Flavor Balancers:
2 tbsp. black pepper

Italian flat leaf parsley

Recipe Directions:
Bring a large spaghetti pot with well-salted water to a boil. In a large sauté pan, begin to cook bacon over medium heat. When water reaches a boil, add pasta and cook. In a bowl on the side, whisk together parmesan, black pepper, and eggs. When pasta finishes cooking, strain and leave in colander.

Bring bacon pan heat to high; make certain bacon is extra crispy. Toss pasta into bacon pan taking care not to burn the pasta but to toss the bacon grease and bacon thoroughly through the pasta until even. Once pasta is evenly coated, vigorously whisk egg mixture. Turn off heat from pan. Pour egg mixture on top of pasta and stir vigorously.

The key is to not allow the eggs to cook from the heat of the pan but from the heat of the pasta itself. If your pan is too hot and your pasta is too cold, you will end up with parmesan scrambled eggs and pasta. If you do it correctly, you will end up with pasta that is perfectly coated with parmesan and black pepper as if it was baked into the pasta from the beginning. When finished, top with Italian flat leaf parsley to help with the weight of the dish.

Chef Recipe Tips:
This pasta dish can be a little heavy so serve in small portions.

Cooking for Chemo focuses on teaching you how to make your food taste good again during cancer and chemotherapy treatments. The flavor and cooking techniques contained within our easy to make recipes will help improve your quality of life as you go through cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Our cooking and flavor techniques can be integrated with any diet regimine. All of our recipes can be made with organic ingredients if you choose. Our holistic approach to cooking will help you not only be able to eat but to also enjoy the taste of your food again during and after cancer and chemotherapy treatments. We have many healthy recipes, crockpot recipes, chicken recipes, dinner recipes, shrimp recipes, pasta recipes, soup recipes, vegan recipes, salad recipes, vegetarian recipes, breakfast recipes, and even a great chili recipe. Talk with your oncologist and dietitian to come up with a quality nutrition plan. This site is not to be taken as or used instead of professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor, oncologist, and dietitian before starting any new diet.

This recipe is taken from Cooking for Chemo …and After! By Chef Ryan Callahan -The Cancer Chef. For more cooking for chemotherapy recipes like this, you can pick up a copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Have specific questions? Email us at

About the Author:

Chef Ryan Callahan is a classically trained chef with fifteen years of culinary experience. He is also the author of "Cooking for Chemo ...and After!" Chef Ryan acted as his mother's primary caregiver while she herself went through chemotherapy treatments.