Ziti Carbonara might just become your next favorite, easy pasta recipe!
I first had this recipe at a restaurant in Los Angeles quite a few years ago. Salami is definitely not a mainstream choice to add to pasta, but you’ve gotta trust me on this one. I re-created the recipe and made a double batch of this Ziti Carbonara with salami for a big family dinner that I hosted. What a hit! Everyone loved that it was different, and they all commented on how delicious it was too.
How to make Ziti Carbonara:
While your ziti pasta is cooking, you’ll heat oil and butter in a skillet… and then you’ll add the salami and sauté until crisp. A little garlic is added in at the end of the salami cooking time. Egg yolks, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper are then whisked together in a bowl.
When you drain the pasta, you’ll save a little of the pasta water and set it aside. Starchy pasta water is golden for adding to pasta dishes later on to give the pasta a little more moisture. The drained pasta is added to the skillet and tossed with the the salami and garlic. And then the egg/cream mixture is added in and tossed some more. The hot pasta cooks the egg yolk, so you don’t need to worry about it not being “officially” cooked over heat (but you can always heat it a little in the skillet with the pasta, if if makes you nervous).
Why isn’t there a sauce?
Ziti Carbonara isn’t a pasta that is meant to have any kind of thick and heavy sauce. The pasta is coated with the ingredients. Don’t worry, there is plenty of flavor! The olive oil/butter/egg/cream/parmesan mixture provides all the pasta needs for a simple coating with more Parmesan added, as desired.
About using salami:
Ziti Carbonara is a little bit alternative using salami instead of prosciutto, bacon or pancetta. It’s a delicious diversion from the norm. And you might find that salami is more affordable than prosciutto or pancetta too. When the salami is sautéed, it becomes delightfully crisp.
When ready to serve, you can toss in a little of the reserved pasta water if the pasta seems like it needs more moisture. That’s totally up to you. For individual servings, add some fresh parsley and additional Parmesan. Let us know how you like this Ziti Carbonara!
Here are a few more carbonara-themed recipes you might like try:
- Skillet Pasta Carbonara
- Spiralized Pasta Carbonara
- Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Carbonara
- Spaghetti Carbonara
Ziti Carbonara with Salami
- 16 ounces ziti pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces Genoa salami, cut into strips
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half) - can add a little more, if desired
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente (tender, but slightly firm to the bite).
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the salami and cook until brown and crisp. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add the cream, cheese and pepper.
- Drain the pasta (saving 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water, setting it aside) and add the hot pasta to the skillet. Sauté 30 seconds and toss with the salami. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the egg mixture; toss. If the pasta seems like it needs more moisture, you can add in a little of the starchy pasta water and toss.
- Top with additional Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.