In days gone by, there were many periods of fasting in Italy. And afterwards, there was a great desire to eat whatever tasted good. This is how pasta alla zozzona (the dirty pasta) is said to have been created, combining three cult dishes of Roman cuisine: amatriciana, cacio e pepe and carbonara.
The dirty pasta
Literally translated, pasta alla zozzona means "dirty pasta". The name already suggests that it is not a "pure type" of dish! It originated at a time when the church called for fasting many times a year. When people were then allowed to eat everything again, the cooks sometimes no longer followed familiar recipes, but combined what the taste buds longed for! This resulted in hearty mixtures that some considered indecent, even sinful.
Amatriciana, cacio e pepe and carbonara
Today I would say that this pasta is so delicious that it is definitely worth sinning for. If you want to prepare it in the traditional manner, always use rigatoni, short tubular pasta that is perfect for filling with the sauce. As with pasta amatriciana, the fat comes exclusively from guanciale. The salsiccia, the only ingredient that is not part of the other dishes, must be made solely from pork. As in cacio e pepe, pecorino and pepper are mixed with the sauce after taking the pasta off the stove. And at the end, as in carbonara, the egg is added.
The dirty pasta - Pasta alla zozzona
- 320 g rigatoni, alternatively, penne or similar
- 100 g guanciale
- ½ onion
- 2 salsicce
- 200 g tomato sauce
- 100 g pecorino
- black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 egg yolk
- Melt the finely chopped guanciale in a pan without fat until the fat is translucent. Add the finely chopped onion and fry. Chop the salsicce and fry it in the pan as well. Pour in the tomato sauce and let the sauce simmer gently.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta al dente. Strain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce in the pan and simmer for 1 minute, then mix well. Remove the pan from the heat. Now season with pecorino as well as plenty of pepper, folding in well. If the pasta is too dry, stir in spoonfuls of pasta water until the sauce is creamy. Mix in the yolk and serve immediately.