TONNARELLI AL MELONE – Egg Pasta with Cantaloupe Sauce

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This unique but very delicious pasta dish was first introduced to me while studying with Marcella Hazan in Bologna. Although most guarded to try it, it has since become one of my summer favorites.

Tonarelli or chitarra is a square shaped strand of egg pasta that may be difficult to find in your market. I have substituted store bought egg tagliatelle to great success. You could also use eggless factory made pasta such as spaghetti, but since it absorbs less sauce, reduce the heavy cream in the recipe to one-quarter its volume.


  • 4 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 C cantaloupe, rind and seeds removed, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp tomato paste
  • S & P


Put the butter and oil in a large saute pan and heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. Add the cantaloupe and cook for about 2 min, stirring frequently. Do not allow the melon to dissolve.

Add the cream, lemon juice, and tomato paste. Stir and cook at high heat until the cream is reduced to half its volume. Add S & P to taste and remove from the heat.

Cook the pasta in a large amount of boiling salted water. When it is al dente, drain it and immediately toss it with the sauce in a warm serving bowl. Serve at once.