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Orecchiette pasta with zucchini and speck
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5 from 18 votes

Orecchiette pasta with Zucchini and Speck

A delicious combination of summer vegetables, smoked cured ham from Northern Italy and orecchiette pasta from Southern Italy. It’s easy to make and can be eaten tepid or cold as a salad 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono


  • 2-3 zucchini depending on size
  • 150 g speck or pancetta slices or in one piece
  • 320 g orecchiette pasta preferrably fresh
  • 1 onion
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 50 g parmesan grated
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • salt for cooking pasta and to season
  • black pepper to season


  • Slice the onion thinly, cut the zucchini into small strips, half the tomatoes, chop the basil and cut the speck into small pieces.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or skillet and add the onion. When the onion starts to soften add the zucchini strips and, after a few minutes, the chopped speck. 
  • Let the ingredients cook until the speck and zucchini start to brown a little then add the halved tomatoes and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Before the sauce is ready, add salt and pepper to taste and the chopped basil. Set the sauce aside or let it simmer on low.
  • Cook the pasta al dente in boiling salted water. Save a cup of the pasta cooking water. Strain the orecchiette and add them to the frying pan. 
  • Mix everything together and continue cooking for a couple minutes. If the sauce is too dry add some of the pasta cooking water.
  • Serve with grated parmesan or grana cheese and a little more olive oil is desired.


This dish can be eaten as a salad and is still delicious the next day if kept covered in the fridge. 
For readers in US, I know that Italian speck from the South Tirol can be bought online from SupermarketItaly.com