Bacon Cacio e Pepe

Before y’all poo poo me, I have stated before that I will make compromises with food because the Hubs and little one make compromises and eat all the vegan dishes I prepare. They didn’t make the choice to be vegan, so I will bow out sometimes and prepare a meat dish for them.

So enters this dish: Bacon Cacio e Pepe from Ali Maffucci‘s book InspiralizedThis dish is made with zucchini noodles. I’ve been dying to make a zucchini dish to see how my spirooli handles it and to see how easy it would be. So far, I’ve done a sweet potato, daikon radish, and now zucchinis.

In Maffucci’s book, she calls for two zucchinis which makes up two servings. Since we don’t know how to practice portion control in this house and since the little one would be eating this dish, I got three zucchinis. I was kind of hoping for leftovers so either the Hubs or I could have it for lunch the next day. No luck though. It was just that good that there was nothing leftover!

You’ll peel the zucchini’s (if you want), and chop off the ends to put it in your spiralizer. When you’re spiralizing something, you’ll have the core that will be leftover and then the end that sticks on to the handle.

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Don’t worry about it…it’s minimal waste. The ends are where my spirooli decided to quit making noodles. The spiralizer might be a bit different.

After you’re done, you’ll have zucchini noodles like this (and it was easy spiralizing a zucchini):

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Maffucci does mention in her book that zucchini is 95 percent water. So to prevent a watery dish, I put my noodles in a dish towel and pat them as close to dry as I could.

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The next steps I won’t go into too much detail because you’ll just have to buy her book. The book is fabulous.

So, cacio e pepe is originally a Roman dish. I hate using Wikipedia as a source, but this is the only site I could find that any information on what cacio e pepe is because being of non-Italian descent I didn’t know what it meant.

Cacio e Pepe is a Roman pasta dish. “Cacio e Pepe” means “cheese and pepper” in several central Italian languages. As the name suggests, the ingredients of the dish are very simple and include only pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese, and pasta. The only precaution to be taken in preparing this dish is to leave some of the hot cooking water with the pasta: the heat melts the cheese, while the starches in the water help bind the pepper and cheese to the pasta. The Cacio e pepe is typically made with long, thin spaghetti, such as tonnarelli or vermicelli.

So, from that you can guess what the ingredients are, but that’s not everything Maffucci uses. I won’t go into details. Sorry. I will tell you that this dish was easy to make, it was quick, it was simple, and it tasted great. The Hubs wasn’t too sure about zucchini being used as a noodle. In fact, in Maffucci’s intro to the recipe she addresses this and we both thought it was funny. And it is SO true too!

Ladies, if you have a hard time convincing your man to eat zucchini noodles, make him this dish–he’ll be a believer after that first bite!

This is what the little one’s dish looked like.

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And this is what my dish looked like:

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For obvious reasons, because I can’t and won’t eat dairy, I didn’t mix the cheese in with the zucchini noodles as they were cooking. I grated the cheese and sprinkled it on top of the dish for the Hubs and the little one. I used nutritional yeast on mine. That was before I started my elimination diet. We had this dish Saturday night. The dish was good. It was nice and light, and the little one liked his dish as well. I think we’ll make this dish again but I’ll leave out the nutritional yeast. I can’t have it anymore sadly.

Tonight we’re having sweet potato enchiladas. I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

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