The key to this simple weeknight meal is cooking the eggs just enough to make a creamy sauce without overcooking them. So first, crisp the pancetta; then, while the pasta cooks, mix the eggs with the pecorino and Parmesan cheeses. While the drained pasta is still hot, toss it with the cooked pancetta and eggs. This method provides enough gentle heat to create a creamy, rich sauce and virtually eliminates the chance of scrambling the eggs. The addition of peas, though heavily debated, adds a touch of brightness to this classic Italian dish.
What to buy: Look for pancetta in gourmet groceries and Italian markets. Or you can make your own. In a pinch, you can substitute bacon.
This recipe was featured as part of our How to Make Pancetta project.
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 30 mins
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 ounces pancetta, small dice
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound linguine
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces), plus extra for serving
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 3/4 ounce)
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until browned and most of the fat has been rendered, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Add the cheeses and whisk until evenly combined; set aside.
- Drain the cooked pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and immediately return the hot pasta to the pot. Stir in the reserved egg-cheese mixture, reserved pancetta and pan drippings, peas, measured pepper, and just enough pasta cooking water to make the mixture creamy (you may not need all of it). Taste and season with additional pepper as needed.
- Transfer the pasta to a serving dish and serve immediately, passing the extra grated cheeses on the side.