Rigatoni alla Zozzona

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.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Bring 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.
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, 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.
  3. Step 3

    Increase 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.
  4. Step 4

    Stir 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.
  5. Step 5

    Remove 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.
  6. Step 6

    In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, ¼ cup cheese, the pepper and 1 tablespoon of the reserved guanciale drippings.
  7. Step 7

    Add the pasta and guanciale to the simmering sauce and stir to coat.
  8. Step 8

    Stir 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.