Cacio e Pepe Zucchini Bucatini
Serves 4 to 6
Author note: If you want to add salty protein to this dish, use your favorite cured meat, like prosciutto. Slice the prosciutto into thin strips and add into the pasta in the final toss.
2 lbs zucchini, sliced
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound bucatini
1 cup pasta cooking water
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Place a bowl underneath a colander. Add the zucchini slices into the colander and toss with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the zucchini from the colander and pat dry.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Warm over medium heat. Place a quarter of the zucchini, in an even layer, into the oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Push the zucchini to the sides of the skillet. Continue this process until all zucchini have cooked.
While the zucchini cooks, boil the bucatini until al dente, about 9 minutes. Remove 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Strain the pasta.
Add 1/4 cup of pasta water, butter, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to the zucchini. Stir to combine. Add the pecorino and parmesan and stir to thoroughly combine. If the sauce looks thick, add 1/4 cup more pasta water. Toss the pasta with the zucchini and cheese. Once thoroughly coated serve immediately topped with basil.