Pasta of the Week. Ditalini Cacio e Ova

Most readers will be familiar with the restaurant term, Pasta del Giorno, pasta of the day, which in Italy, never strays too far from well-known classics. Pasta combinations vary from region to region or town to town but the seasoning, pasta shapes used and sauces will usually be particular to that area. Campanilismo is alive and well in Italy. I cook pasta at least once a week, hence the title of this post, Pasta della Settimana- pasta of the week. This may become a new weekly series, using fresh seasonal ingredients and a new world Italian approach, as well as documenting some traditional classics.

Pasta never gets boring so long as you change the pasta shapes, use fresh seasonal ingredients, as well as excellent extra virgin olive oil and Italian Parmigiano. The total cooking time is usually 12 minutes, including the preparation, which can take place as the pasta cooks. Mr Tranquillo, my kitchen hand, grates the Parmigiano and pours the wine, and if it’s a sunny day, sets the outside table.

Pasta cacio e ouva

This simple recipe comes from the Campania region. In some ways it resembles that classic Roman dish, Cacio e Pepe in that it includes Pecorino Romano but it’s one hundred times easier to make. It’s generally made with tubetti, which are short tubular shapes such as Ditalini, or Maccheroni shaped  pasta.

Ingredients for four serves

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 Tablespoons EV olive oil
  • some flat leafed parsley, cut finely
  • black pepper, freshly ground to taste ( I like lots)
  • sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 50 g pecorino, grated
  • 50 g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 400 g pasta tubetti, such as ditalini

Method

  1. Cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water for the time suggested on the packet.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and lightly beat adding apinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Add the pecorino to the eggs, mix well, then add the parmesan. The mixture should be clear but quite thick.
  4. In a wide non stick pan, ( I tend to use a non stick wok for all my second stage pasta making these days) warm the olive oil and add the clove of garlic until it turns a pale gold, then remove it. Turn off the heat. Then add the drained cooked pasta shapes to the hot oil and saute for one minute.
  5. Add the pasta to the egg and cheese mixture, tossing about to mix well with a wooden spoon. Then add the finely chopped parsley.
  6. Serve in heated plates with a green salad and extra cheese if desired.
    Fuori o dentro? Questa e` la domanda!

    Campanilismo is a term derived from the word campanile, the bell tower and refers to an attachment to one’s birth place and the traditions that go with that town or village. In one sense, it can be described as parochialism. When talking about cuisine, this attachment can be both positive and negative. The positive aspects include the preservation of traditional dishes and foods of the region or the town: the negative side is that food choices and ingredients have become limited and limiting, reflecting the modern Italian’s tendency to look inwards and backwards. New foods and different ways of serving things are often viewed with suspicion, believing that the local version is the best and only way.

     

21 thoughts on “Pasta of the Week. Ditalini Cacio e Ova”

  1. Would you believe I am half an hour away from making cacio e pepe for lunch . . . plus salad naturally! Well, not with the same pasta shape 🙂 ! Without that necessary glass of wine: Dan Murphy’s is late with its delivery . . . Oh, a Pasta alla Settimana recipe methinks would be welcomed by so many, especially accompanied with your language ‘lessons’ and other bits of knowledge italiano 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love cacio e pepe so much- and always best with long skinny spaghetti or tonarelli. That creamy sauce… hmmm- might need to make it again today too before I head down to the beach. Bloody Dans! Speaking of wine, and Italian style wine, Serafino winery in McClarenvale has some wonderful specials to be ordered before April 1. with free delivery!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally new name for me and an interesting one! Now wish I had not such a big delivery coming from Murphy’s but have checked out the site and put it in my file for the future . . . . the sales prices are very good for such a boutique winery . . . thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Simple pasta dishes like this are a joy. My boys love pasta e broccoli al oglio. We need large packets of pasta these days, they seem to have hollow legs! Love that you call Mr Tranquillo your kitchen hand, The Marito gets called my sous-chef. Buona pasqua signora.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love pasta meals and yours looks so very inviting – I particularly like ‘con broccolini’ but I don’t think I ever manage to get it right . We have a Catholic Church nearby that rings (what I think is called) the Angelus at midday and again at 6pm. I love the sound. I imagine myself in an Italian town with an old fountain in the town centre, instead of suburban Brisbane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh good Dale. You can test them out in case I put them all together in a little book one day. I’m keen on de Cecco brand pasta if you can source it up your way- it seems to hold sauces better and tastes less industrial. I keep a small wall of pasta- nice to have a choice, since it keeps so well. Cheers, my friend.

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