Cacio e Pepe is a classic recipe that is also my fall on the recipe when coming home from traveling. Earlier in the summer, I decided to toss in some summer squash to mix things up. It was really good, and fresh tasting. I believe this recipe for Cacio e Pepe with Zucchini became a new favorite.
I do need to clarify a new favorite. When Lenny saw that I was mixing zucchini in a class Cacio e Pepe recipe, he almost had a coronary. I knew he didn’t care for zucchini but it was at this very moment when he head nearly exploded I realized how much he didn’t care for it. What did I do, I made him a bowl minus the squash. Then I went ahead and made a bowl of Cacio e Pepe with Zucchini for myself.
He has been out of town the past month, and I have been taking full advantage and enjoying myself a couple bowls of this savory pasta dish along with a few other favorite zucchini recipes. I love how easy this one comes together. After making the classic Cacio e Pepe, toss in raw spiralized zucchini noodles. The pasta is warm enough to heat the zucchini, and the zucchini is thin enough that it doesn’t need to be cooked. In fact, if you cook it beforehand, it tends to be watery which breaks down the pasta. I like to serve a green salad with a generous squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil alongside.
Cacio e Pepe with Zucchini
** serves 2
7 ounces egg pasta – I like bucatini but spaghetti works too
gray salt or kosher
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 1/2 cups parmesan finely grated
1/4 cup pecorino finely grated
1 small zucchini spiraled
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Season with salt, then add pasta and cook. I cook it half of the time that the package says to cook.
Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain the pasta. Do not rinse the pasta.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter along with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the pepper and cook, stirring the entire time for 1 minute.
Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and bring to a simmer.
Add the pasta, lower the heat and using tongs toss to coat with the peppery butter.
Add the parmesan cheese and continue tossing using tongs until melted. If the pasta looks a little dry add a small amount of the pasta water.
Add the pecorino and the zucchini. Toss with the tongs to mix well for about 1 minute.
Place the pasta onto serving plates.