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Some people say that there is such thing as too much of a good thing, but when it comes to Italian food, we bed to differ. From the feast of the seven fishes to the grandeur of a paper-wrapped, dome-topped panettone, we’ve learned that bigger is better does in fact apply. The same is even true for pasta. Sure, there are purists who say that Italian heritage pasta dishes like cacio e pepe and a pasta alla Gricia need to stay in their simplest, truest forms. But to those people, Giada De Laurentiis has one thing to say: pasta alla zozzona. Not only does this dish have a name that’s fun to pronounce, but it’s also a totally authentic mash-up of two classic Roman pasta dishes, and with their powers combined, it’s a dish that offers flavor, texture, and satisfaction in spades.
Pasta alla zozzona actually means “dirty pasta” in Italian, but there’s nothing dirty about this creamy, tomato-y pasta that’s studded with crumbled Italian sausage. It’s a combination of two Roman pasta dishes, and as De Laurentiis describes it, pasta alla Zozzona has “all the savory tomato flavor of Amatriciana with the rich, creamy decadence of Carbonara — all with some Italian sausage thrown in for good measure.”
We definitely trust the Everyday Italian star when it comes to pasta. After all, she’s written multiple cookbooks on the matter, including Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita. So if De Laurentiis says it’s okay to combine two iconic Italian pasta recipes into one, we just have to trust we won’t be incurring the wrath of internet nonnas from all over the globe in doing so.
The recipe combines pasta amatriciana, which has a tomato, red pepper, guanciale, and pecorino sauce, with pasta carbonara, which is made with egg yolks, cheese, pepper, and guanciale. When combined, the carbonara element mellows out the amatriciana, while the tomatoes from the amatriciana liven up the rich carbonara.
The next time you’re eager to have pasta for dinner and want to try something that’s both a little new and still totally family-friendly, check out Giada De Laurentiis’ pasta alla zozzona.
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