Place the pancetta in a cold, large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Bring to medium heat and slowly render the pancetta, stirring occasionally and making sure it does not burn, until very crispy. Set the pancetta aside to drain and reserve the fat in the pot.
Add 3 test kernels to the pot and cover. Once they pop, add the rest of the kernels and partially cover to let out steam. Once they start popping aggressively, shake the pot to keep things moving. Make sure to not keep the cover completely sealed; always let it vent to insure maximum texture. Once the popping frequency slows down, take it off the heat.
In a small food processor, blend the salt and sugar to create a popcorn dust.
Add the butter to the popcorn and stir, then add the pancetta, cheese and a couple pinches of the popcorn dust to taste. Shake vigorously to mix. Serve!
Recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro