Italian Pasta Recipes


Fettuccine alla papalina is a Roman dish for some the ancestor of carbonara.

It involves the use of raw or cooked ham, cream and onion with possible additions of mushrooms and peas.

Like every recipe it has its variations.

Prosciutto was originally raw, but cooked could also have its uses.

The choice depends on the strength you want to give the dish.

If you want it nice and tough then use a prosciutto from Norcia for example; if you want a delicate flavor then go for San Daniele or a classic Prosciutto di Parma.

Some versions then call for cream or peas, mixing in other traditional Roman dishes and ingredients here. If you go so far as to put mushrooms in, however, have the compunction to change the name, which of papalino nothing remains.

Cream is supposed to be the light substitute for butter, which in turn replaced oil. It is an ingredient that came much later.

The typical pasta for this dish is fettuccine. But the difference with tagliatelle consists only in the thickness of the fettuccia, which in the latter case is between 3 and 5 mm. while in the former it exceeds it.

The use of short pasta I think is possible, but it distorts the dish too much in my opinion.





  • 9 oz (250 grams) of Fettuccine or Tagliatelle pasta
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 1 cup of onions
  • 6 slices of raw ham (prosciutto crudo)
  • 3/4 cup of double cream (45% of fat)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ladle of water at room temperature




To prepare fettuccine alla papalina, first cut the prosciutto into slices and then into strips .

Place a nonstick pan on the stove and melt the butter in chunks.

Let the finely chopped onion wilt for 8 minutes in the butter, adding a ladleful of room temperature water.

Add the prosciutto previously cut into strips and stir with a kitchen spatula , cooking for another 2 minutes.

Once ready, turn off and set aside.

Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil, then cook the fettuccine al dente for 3 minutes 8; in the meantime, break the eggs into a bowl and add the cream, and stir vigorously with a whisk.

Add the grated cheese , mix again , and finally season with salt.

After the necessary time has elapsed, drain the fettuccine and pour them directly into the pan with the sauce, sautéing them for a few moments to flavor; turn off the heat and add the egg mixture , distributing it evenly over the pasta.

Mix quickly to mix all the ingredients well, then adjust the pepper : your fettuccine alla papalina is ready to be served piping hot.

It is advisable to consume the fettuccine at the moment well warm.

Freezing is not recommended.









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