Posted by: lisetta | December 7, 2009

Penne con salsicce e uova

My dinner tonight was like a breakfast pasta with a lemony twist: a riff on the pasta carbonara I was experimenting with last spring.

See how shiny it is? That’s no trick photography. The glittery sheen comes from pork fat, olive oil, uncooked eggs and melted pecorino romano. Yep. You read that right. This is not everyday Italian for sure.

The inspiration for this dish came from a fabulous new cookbook I picked up this weekend while browsing the Penn bookstore’s Bargain Books: Italian Country Cooking: The Secrets of Cucina Povera, by Loukie Werle. I like arte povera, why not cucina povera? The bowl of orecchiette on the front cover had chick peas and bits of green. I opened the book up to a recipe for farro soup, then turned to fish with saffron and fennel.  Sounds like stuff I like. What point was there in trying to resist?

Pasta with sausage and egg

Beat an egg in a large bowl. Add zested pecorino romano to taste, the zest of half a lemon, and a few pinches of black pepper. Set aside.

Finely chop a bit of red onion and saute it until soft in a bit of olive oil.

Add chopped pancetta and crumbled sausage to the pan and cook 5-10 minutes.

Add cooked penne to the pan and coat.

Add the pasta and sausage to the uncooked egg mixture, throw in a handful of chopped fresh parsley and mix until coated.

Eat immediately (taking photos is optional).

The published recipe doesn’t call for onion, and adds lemon juice to the egg mixture, but I didn’t trust that lemon juice made sense, and went for something more familiar along the lines of carbonara. I really did like the lemon zest, though! While it didn’t exactly lighten up the dish, it added a bit of levity to what is nonetheless a hearty main course.



  1. looks and sounds delectable.

  2. this dish looks wonderful… I am a big fan of la cucina povera. Thanks for sharing.

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