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Gluten-Free Cacio e Pepe (pasta with pepper and grated cheese)

Cacio e Pepe is a quick and tasty Roman Pasta Dish with a creamy, stirred peppery sauce ~ which is getting a little makeover. I’ve added roasted zucchini and chopped garlic to the traditional recipe ~ delicious!
This gluten-free spaghetti is the best I’ve tried… use traditional pasta too.

A platter of Cacio e Pepe updated with added Garlic and Roasted Zucchini
See the creamy sauce which is achieved by stirring

I’ve changed up the classic recipe (yes, I dare to do so!) to add a healthier profile with lots of oven roasted zucchini and chopped garlic. This is a great technique to get your required daily vegetables – and it tastes great… totally complements the pasta.

A platter of Cacio de Pepe updated with added Garlic and Roasted Zucchini

Ingredients

½ pound white rice spaghetti, I used Pasta Joy brand

1 ½ cups pasta water (more if needed)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 ½ teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, medium grind, more to taste

2 ½ teaspoons fresh garlic, peeled and small chop

½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated

2 medium-large zucchini, one yellow, one green – cut into 2″ x ½” ” batonnetes 

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 pinch salt & pepper

2 tablespoons garlic scapes, thinly sliced, or chives

Instructions

1

Before preparing the pasta, and easy sauce ~ Roast the Squash:
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Add the zucchini, 1 t. oil, salt & pepper to a rimmed sheet pan.
Mix all together to coat evenly.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing the zucchini once until golden on the outside and caramelized. Set aside.

2

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente (will cook for a minute longer in the sauce.)

3

While the pasta cooks – Prepare the Sauce:
In a heavy, wide skillet, heat 3 T. olive oil and pepper over very low heat for one minute.
Add the garlic, stir and cook for just two minutes, yet do not color the garlic.

4

Take 2 cups of “pasta water” out of the pot and drain the pasta (do not rinse !)

5

Add 1 1 /2 cups of the pasta water (not yet the full 2 cups) to the pan, bring to a boil.
Quickly add the pasta, turn heat down to a simmer – and stir for one minute.
Remove from heat, add the 2 cheeses and stir briskly until a creamy sauce is formed.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water, tablespoon at a time to achieve a creamy sauce, if needed.

6

Toss the zucchini into the pasta, mix well and add to a platter or individual bowls.
Garnish with sliced garlic scapes or fresh-cut chives. (Basil leaves are a nice garnish as well.)
Best made and eaten at once.

7

If reheating – save some pasta water, add at little to achieve a creamy sauce.

See BLOG for many photos of this recipe, and more information.

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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