Not like mama used to make
Making fresh pasta is easier than you think
A simple sauce of sauteed guanciale and grated zuchini, with a pinch of saffron for color and flavor. For recipe, see below. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
Note: Adapted from "The Glorious Pasta of Italy." Guanciale, cured pork jowl, has a more pronounced pork flavor than pancetta, cured pork belly. If you are unable to find guanciale, substitute an equal amount of pancetta, which is more commonly available, or regular bacon.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces guanciale or pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick, cut into strips 1/2 inch long
1 small to medium zucchini, shredded, patted dry
Generous pinch saffron threads
Fine sea salt, optional
Freshly ground pepper
1 recipe fresh egg noodles
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat a large pot of water to a rolling boil; salt generously. While the water is heating, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale; stir to coat with the oil. Cook until it has rendered some of its fat and has just begun to crisp but is still mostly soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn off the heat; add the zucchini and saffron, stirring to combine. Taste and add salt, if you like; grind in pepper to taste. Cover to keep the sauce warm.
2. Gently drop the noodle nests into the boiling water; use a large serving fork or wooden spoon to separate them. Begin checking the pasta for doneness within 1 minute; fresh egg noodles cook quickly. They should be just tender but not at all soft or mushy. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup cooking water.
3. Transfer the pasta to the skillet with your sauce; toss gently to combine the noodles and sauce thoroughly, adding a splash or two of cooking water if needed to loosen the sauce. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl or individual shallow bowls; sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.
Per serving: 520 calories, 27 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 174 mg cholesterol, 51 g carbohydrates, 17 g protein, 672 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.