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Coal Miners'-Style Spaghetti

Servings: 4

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.


  • 1 Tbs. Filippo Berio® Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced
  • Salt
  • 1/2 lb. spaghetti
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Coarsely ground black pepper


  • 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


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • Webhound | 10/21/2013

    Spaghetti alla Carbonara.A delicious dish. It's best with lots & lots & lots of very coarsely ground pepper. If you can't find pancetta, you can substitute thick sliced bacon. Mary Ann's recipe is very similar to one I got in 1980 from the chef at the Hotel Partenio, in Ospedaletto d'Alpinolo, Avellino, Italy.It varies in that after beating the eggs, I add all the cheese to the eggs, & mix well. I also, after draining the pasta, add all the pancetta/bacon & oil to the hot pasta to coat it, then I add the egg mixture & follow the recipe as written. Again, be sure to have the eggs at room temperature when you start. Also have everything ready when you drain the pasta, as it's the heat from the pasta that cooks the eggs. Mix the pasta well, or the eggs will separate. It will look like scrambled eggs instead of the nice creamy texture it should have.

  • TinkerThom | 06/10/2012

    I have made this alot before I even noticed this recipe. add a little garlic to it and omg it is amazing! I have alot of people think it is a strange dish, which is stupid, but I absolutely love it simple and delicious!

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