Farfalle alla Nerano
This is the dish that my husband cooked for me on our first date 4 years ago today. Needless to say I wasn’t only won over by his charm and good looks, but also by his abilities in the kitchen. At the time I lived in Florence with a mutual friend of ours, whose skills in the kitchen extended to placing the jar of sauce for the pasta next to the pot of boiling water to heat it up. When I first returned to Italy I thought that Italians had forgotten to cook, luckily Simone was an exception.
My husband told me that this was a typical pasta from the Amalfi Coast and was usually made with fusilli bucati, which aren’t like the fusilli that you find in salad bar pasta salads in the States, but springy and playful and they really are perfect for this sauce. I had farfalle at hand, which are also good, but you want to stick to a short pasta, spaghetti won’t work with this sauce.
This pasta is similar to a carbonara but with zucchini which makes it less heavy and more complex.
- 2 large zucchini, cut into half-moons
- 1/4 lb of pancetta (bacon will also work)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 eggs*
- 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1/2 ground nutmeg
- 1/2 lb of fusilli bucati (or any short pasta)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Cut pancetta into small slices or cubes, chop onion and slice zucchini into half-moon pieces. Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add pancetta, as the pancetta starts to sizzle, add onion. When onions starts to turn a golden brown, add zucchini. Toss in the pan until the zucchini starts to brown and lower the heat.
In the meantime crack eggs into a small bowl and beat until well blended. Add whole peppercorns and nutmeg and blend into the eggs.
Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
When the pasta is perfectly al dente, drain the pasta, but leave the flame on at a low flame. Return pasta to the pot on the low flame and add the zucchini mix. Toss to cover the pasta with the zucchini and add egg. Stir the past for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the egg starts to scramble. As soon as the egg starts to scramble it is ready to serve.
*I generally measure out my recipes for 2, if you are making this for more people keep in mind one egg a head, you don’t want it to be too eggy.