Pasta, parsley, lemon, butter, egg yolks, old bread, garlic, pancetta, parmigiano.
Preparation: 15 minutes (5 if using fresh pasta)
Bread is the stuff of life in this house. Rarely a meal goes by that does not include bread, whether by design or because my husband habitually makes everything into a sandwich (even soup!) and I delight in slathering my leftovers on toast. Bowie forbid either one of us ever develops a random gluten intolerancy. It would be intolerable.
Our leftover bread is torn up for panzanella, strata or blitzed into crumbs to coat everything from croquettes to goujons. This week, however, breadcrumbs have been thickening sauces. Once upon a time, when the Italians were poor they would substitute breadcrumbs for parmigiano in pasta, but my pangrattato (translation: grated bread) features parmigiano and bread and parsley and pancetta so it's more of a prosperous man's pasta and packs a real punch of flavour - it's also super quick to prepare.
1) In one pan, bring the pasta to the boil in hot, salted water and leave to simmer for 8-10 minutes. If using fresh pasta, prepare the other ingredients first as the pasta will only take 2-3 minutes to cook.
2) In a second pan, melt a tablespoon of butter and fry off the pancetta, stirring to allow the fat and butter to combine. Take off the heat and crack in an egg yolk per person and whisk briskly for around 30 seconds.
3) Stir in the breadcrumbs, parmigiano, and freshly chopped parsley and add a squeeze of lemon.
4) Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce until coated. Serve hot.