My Grandma used to make this for me when I was a kid when I would stay several weeks with her every summer. Then I didn’t know what it was just, just that it was this wonderful dish my Grandma would make me with left over pasta. Since that time I have been trying to recreate this dish to be just like hers. This one is pretty close with a grown-up twist.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti or rigatoni
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan
1/4 pound pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large egg yolks Freshly grated Romano cheese
Handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Put a large sauce pot of water on to boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all the pan drippings.
In a separate bowl, beat yolks, then add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup) of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta.
Drain pasta well and add it directly to the skillet with pancetta and oil. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg. Remove pan from heat and add a big handful of cheese, lots of pepper, and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn the pasta until it soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and extra grated Romano.