Campofilone “Guitar” Pasta with Prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano & Aceto Balsamico
Campofilone is a specialty pasta of the town of Campofilone in the Marche region. Made since the 1400s and renowned around the world for its special rich silkiness. The bright yellow color and astonishing taste is due to the fact that the pasta is made with an exeptional quantity of eggs: 10 eggs for every 2.2 pounds (kilo) of durum wheat semolina. It was invented, as so many dishes were back then, as a way to preserve food. In this case, eggs. Combining eggs with flour and then cutting and drying it was the perfect way to preserve fresh eggs and quickly became a staple of the region. The lovely Medieval town of Campofilione hosts a yearly festival at the beginning of August each year celebrating this amazing pasta, with lively demos and lots of tastings.
Interestingly, because it is so egg rich, the pasta can be cut extremely thinly yet has a deeply satisfying mouth-feel and chewiness. When cooked this type of pasta doubles in volume and is wonderful at absorbing sauce. Campofilone pasta can be made in various shapes. This recipe is made with chitarrashaped pasta, which gets its name from the stringed instrument (called chitarra) that shapes the pasta into 4-sided strands.
This sauce is embarrassingly simple to make, coming together faster than the time it takes to boil the pasta. Prosciutto salty bite is balanced by the balsamico’s just-right sweet acidic zing.
Combine the prosciutto, lemon zest and olive oil in a large serving bowl and let rest for one hour to meld flavors.
Cook the pasta according to package directions in plenty of salted boiling water. Drain, but reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Mix the cooking liquid into the bowl with the prosciutto and add the Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix until creamy and then toss in the pasta.
Divide between two serving plates and top with a drizzle of Aceto Balsamico of Modena IGP.
Recipe courtesy of La Campofilone.