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Pasta with Zucchini, Pancetta and Saffron
This is our version of a fantastic pasta offering from Trattoria Bertozzi in Bologna, Italy. In lieu of guanciale (cured pork jowl), we opted for easier-to-find but equally meaty pancetta, and we lightened up the dish’s richness by swapping half-and-half for the cream. The restaurant uses gramigna pasta, a tubular, curled shape from the Emilio-Romagna region. We found that more widely available cavatappi or gemelli works just as well combining with the zucchini and catching the lightly creamy sauce in its crevices.
ounces short, curly pasta, such as cavatappi or gemelli
01Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Slice each half lengthwise about ¼ inch thick, then cut the strips crosswise into 1-inch sections. In a large pot, boil 4 quarts of water. Add the pasta and 2 tablespoons salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain. In a small bowl, combine 1½ cups of the reserved water and the saffron; set aside the remaining ½ cup water.
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