Pasta alla Zozzona- a dish full of flavour using simple ingredients.
The name Pasta alla Zozzona translates to 'dirty pasta'. Why? It is thought that this dish orignated as a rustic tavern dish. It didn't adhere to some of the stricter Roman cooking conventions because it started out as kind of randomly throwing any leftover items you had from making the more traditional Cacio e Pepe, Carbonara or Amatriciana.
In a way you could think of it as the 'best of the best'! (How's that for marketing!)
This is Roman comfort food at its best! Pancetta, sausage, tomato, rigatoni and some egg yolks add up to an amazing bowl full of flavour. Oh - and don't forget the cheese!
This is simple enough you could probably make it with ingredients you have on hand. You want a sturdy pasta shape to hold on to the sauce. You are going to use some pasta water to give your sauce some grip and structure. I don't have pancetta on hand so I used bacon... don't tell Nona!
The cheese called for is Pecorino Romano. Traditional yes - but Parmigiana or Asiago would work too.
Pasta alla Zozzona -Roman Pasta
- 750 grams rigatoni
- 3 Tbsps olive oil
- 2 cups pancetta or pork belly or bacon
- 4 mild Italian pork sausage casings removed and crumbled
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups pecorino romano cheese, grated (or sub Asiago or Parmesan)
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- additional grated cheese for garnish
- Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
- While water is heating up, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add pancetta and sausage and cook until the fat is rendered and the sausage has browned.
- Deglaze the sausage skillet with the white wine. Add the tomatoes and crush them with a spoon as they heat up. Cook them down about 10 minutes.
- While sausage and tomato mixtures are cooking, cook rigatoni in boiling water until very al dente. (About 3 minutes less than total cooking time. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
- Return pasta to the pot off the heat and add the sausage and tomato mixture. Turn the heat to medium low. Whisk egg yolks, cheese and ½ cup of pasta water in a small bowl. Add to the pasta and cook 3-5 minutes until pasta is desired doneness.
- Transfer to bowls and serve with additional cheese.