Don’t ask me how to pronounce the name of this pasta. I usually just try to say it really fast and then when people say “huh?” I say “it’s just this really amazing pasta.”
Why is Linguine Squarcieralla so amazing? First, because it is delicious. It is rich, salty, cheesy, and incredibly filling.
The second reason is because it is the most versatile recipe ever.
The basic method is to cook the pasta in boiling water while browning the prosciutto in a skillet. Remove the meat, add in the onion and garlic, and let cook for a few minutes. Chop up the meat, then drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Throw in a beaten egg, stir to cook it, then add in the meat, onion, garlic, black pepper and Parmesan. That’s it!
Over the years I’ve done with this bacon, pancetta, pepperoni, and even with (gasp!) ham lunch meat. I’ve swapped the onion for peppers, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, and just about anything I’ve had lying around. I’ve done all meat versions, all vegetable versions, and once even just the noodles, egg, and Parmesan. I’ve used Parmigiano Reggiano, pre-shredded Parmesan, and even (double gasp!) the “grated” kind from the green can.
This recipe came into my life in a very odd way. Back when I was freshly out of university and was too naive to recognize a terrible job, I worked for a market research company in Portland. My boss was inspirational to me in that he taught me exactly what NOT to do if I wanted to be a good leader. I won’t go into the details here, but suffice it to say that it was a memorable position in more ways than one.
Funny enough, I met two of my best friends at that position (shout outs to Lora & Leslie!) and also…. the husband! I think it’s kind of like how if you get trapped in an elevator with people you end up bonding with them because of the trauma.
The most useful thing that boss ever taught me was how to make this pasta. I had to stay in a condo with him on a business trip to Las Vegas, and between making inappropriate comments and suggesting we try out the hot tub, he made this pasta.
I believe he got the recipe from a restaurant here in Portland, but I can never remember where it was. As far as I know, the original version is very basic and just includes pasta, prosciutto, onion, garlic, egg, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. That’s the version that I’m sharing here with you, but I also have lots of experience with substitutions in this recipe.
Seriously, you guys… once you know the basic method of this pasta it will become your go-to “Oh, crap, what are we going to have for dinner tonight?” recipe.
You can lighten it up by using whole wheat pasta and egg beaters, or make it more decadent by adding a creamy cheese like Gruyere or Fontina. It’s really the most versatile pasta recipe of all time.
Okay, I know you’re just itching to get to the recipe, so here you go!
The Wanderlust Kitchen
5 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- 4 oz prosciutto (Italian dry-aged ham)
- 8 oz linguine noodles
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Place a skillet over medium-high heat and lay half of the prosciutto pieces in the pan so that as much of the meat as possible is touching the skillet. Lay the remaining half of the prosciutto on top of the first layer, perpendicular to the first layer of meat. Placing the meat in the pan in this criss-cross fashion helps keep the pieces from sticking together.
- Let the meat cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, until crisp and brown. Remove, and chop into bite-size pieces.
- Add the linguine noodles to the pot and cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, add the chopped onion and garlic to the pan used to cook the prosciutto. If the pan seems a bit dry, you can add a bit of olive oil. Saute for 3 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
- Once cooked, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Add in the beaten eggs and use a wooden spoon to toss the noodles with the eggs. Continue for about a minute, until the eggs have turned opaque and look cooked.
- Add the black pepper and Parmesan cheese, and toss to combine. Serve warm.