I haven't seen many recipes like it, but I have heard that in some regions of Italy pasta is sometimes simmered and stirred in a small amount of broth. The pasta sheds some of its starch into the broth, creating a creamy sauce. Instead of boiling pasta in salted water it is cooked in a manner similar to risotto, including the addition of aromatics and the toasting of the pasta. I break up the spaghetti because it is silly to try to toast foot-long spaghetti in a pan, let alone stir it in the broth. My sister changes it up, using different vegetables and mushrooms, depending on the time of year. I love pancetta, but it seems like this would be a great place to improvise with some leftovers.
Spaghetti in the Style of Risotto
5 to 6 cups chicken stock
1/4 pound pancetta chopped into small dice
1 pound spaghetti, broken into 2-3 inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 (15-ounce) can small white beans
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup grated Parmesan
Measure out the broth and warm it in the microwave.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, deep pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and brown slightly. Next add the garlic and spaghetti and toast the noodles lightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions and carrots, bay and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Soften veggies a bit. Add the wine and allow it to be completely absorbed. Add beans then add a few ladles of stock and stir the pasta. Keep adding stock a few ladles at a time allowing liquids to be mostly absorbed before adding more. When most of the liquids are absorbed and spaghetti is cooked to al dente, 12-15 minutes, stir in cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with parsley and a drizzle of good olive oil.