Legend has it that coal miners carried or found everything they needed to make this dish on their way home from the mines. Wherever you’re coming home from, you’ve likely already got everything you need on hand to make this family favorite.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and stir in the pancetta. Cook until crispy. Set aside and keep warm in pan.
Cook the spaghetti until it is al dente, in 4 quarts of rapidly boiling, salted water. Al dente means still firm, but no uncooked flour is visible when a strand of spaghetti is broken in half.
Reserve 2 Tbs. of spaghetti cooking water. Drain the spaghetti in a colander. Immediately return the spaghetti to the pot and, keeping the heat very low, rapidly stir in the eggs, reserved water, and half the cheese. Toss continuously until the eggs are gently cooked and the sauce is creamy.
Add the reserved pancetta and any pan drippings. Stir well. Add a generous grinding of coarse black pepper. Transfer the pasta to a platter and sprinkle it with the remaining cheese.
Recipe provided to Filippo Berio by Chef Mary Ann Esposito