Rigatoni alla Zozzona
Rigatoni alla zozzona combines the ingredients of the four pasta dishes for which Romans are famous: amatriciana, cacio e pepe, carbonara and gricia. While many Italian meals are typically the result of simple flavors — “neat” preparations where only a few ingredients shine — rigatoni alla zozzona (which translates to “a big mess”) is more of a kitchen sink approach, marrying the ingredients of the four pastas (tomato sauce, black pepper, egg yolks, cheese and guanciale) with sausage. Rigatoni’s sturdy tube shape provides the perfect vehicle to carry — and stand up to — the many components of the sauce.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Kosher salt
- 1pound large rigatoni pasta
- 2teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4ounces guanciale (or pancetta), cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1small yellow onion, minced
- 1pound hot or sweet Italian sausages (about 4 to 5 sausages), casings removed
- 2tablespoons tomato paste
- 3cups cherry tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
- 1cup red wine
- 4egg yolks
- ¼cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, plus more to taste
- 1teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water comes to a boil, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water, then drain pasta.
Step 2Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Add the olive oil to a deep, large skillet and heat over medium-low. Add the guanciale in an even layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the strips start to crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove guanciale to a small dish and set aside. Transfer the pan drippings to a small bowl, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the skillet.
Step 3Increase heat to medium-high and stir the onion into the pan drippings, allowing it to soften, about 1 minute. Add the sausage and 1 teaspoon salt and break up the meat into small pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage has browned, about 5 minutes.
Step 4Stir in the tomato paste, then the cherry tomatoes. Decrease heat to medium and stir in the wine. Cover the sauce with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
Step 5Remove the lid and, using the back of a spoon, break up the tomatoes and incorporate them into the sauce. Allow the sauce to cook, uncovered, for 5 more minutes.
Step 6In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, ¼ cup cheese, the pepper and 1 tablespoon of the reserved guanciale drippings.
Step 7Add the pasta and guanciale to the simmering sauce and stir to coat.
Step 8Stir 2 tablespoons of the pasta water into the egg mixture. Turn off the heat and stir the egg mixture into the pasta until coated and glossy, adding 2 tablespoons more pasta water if needed. Transfer the pasta to a serving dish and top with additional cheese, if desired.