Carbonara-Inspired Corn Skillet

published Sep 13, 2021
Mediterranean Monday
Carbonara-Inspired Corn Skillet Recipe

Fresh corn mingles with salty pancetta, Pecorino cheese, black pepper, runny eggs, and fresh basil in this late-summer skillet.

Serves4 to 6

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 22 minutes

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Carbonara corn skillet
Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig | Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

As sweet corn season wanes, I find myself looking for any excuse to get my fill — and this end-of-summer skillet is my favorite way to do so. Taking cues from carbonara, it features salty pancetta, an abundance of black pepper and Pecorino, and runny eggs. The juicy corn kernels perfectly play off these savory features, making this an extra-tasty twist on the classic pasta dish.

Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig | Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

A Vibrant Skillet for the Very End of Summer

While Labor Day might be the unofficial clock that sounds the pumpkin spice alarms, there are still a handful of days left until it’s officially fall. This dish ensures you don’t waste these fleeting summery moments. Grab the last ears of corn from the farmers market and toss them in a fiery skillet until they blister and char. Then, combine them with the signature elements of pasta carbonara: savory chunks of pancetta, black pepper, funky Pecorino Romano cheese, and, of course, eggs. Here, the eggs are nestled within the corn mixture and cooked over-easy (shakshuka-style) before the whole thing is topped with fresh basil and more black pepper.

Dig into this skillet for brunch, lunch, or dinner — just be sure to do it before the season changes.

Welcome to Mediterranean MondaySheela Prakash‘s monthly column of Mediterranean recipes. Here, Sheela will teach you all about the Mediterranean diet’s feel-good way of cooking and eating, and share vibrant, easygoing recipes. Cook with us using #mediterraneanmonday, and for even more great recipes, order a copy of Sheela’s cookbook Mediterranean Every Day.

Carbonara-Inspired Corn Skillet Recipe

Fresh corn mingles with salty pancetta, Pecorino cheese, black pepper, runny eggs, and fresh basil in this late-summer skillet.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 22 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 6 large ears

    fresh corn

  • 4 ounces

    diced pancetta

  • 2 ounces

    Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1 firmly packed cup grated on a Microplane or 2/3 cup store-bought)

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 6

    large eggs

  • 5

    large fresh basil leaves


  1. Shuck 6 ears of corn and remove the silk. Slice the kernels off the cob: Lay each ear on a cutting board and cut down the side of the cob to remove the kernels. Rotate the cob so the flat (cut) end is against the board and continue cutting and rotating (3 3/4 to 4 1/2 cups kernels).

  2. Dice 4 ounces pancetta, if needed. Finely grate 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 packed cup).

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat until shimmering. Add the pancetta and sauté until crispy, browned, and the fat has rendered, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.

  4. Add the corn kernels to the pan, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp tender, about 2 minutes.

  5. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the pancetta and half of the cheese and stir to combine. Make 6 small wells in the corn mixture. Crack an egg into each well. Cover (a sheet pan or the lid of a Dutch oven works well) and return the skillet to medium-low heat.

  6. Cook, rotating the pan as needed so that the eggs cook evenly, until the whites are set and the yolks are to your desired doneness, 8 to 12 minutes (check on it a few times). The eggs should still jiggle in the centers when you gently shake the pan.

  7. Top with the remaining cheese and several more grinds of black pepper. Tear 5 large fresh basil leaves into bite-sized pieces, scatter over the skillet, and serve.