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Author Notes: A chef friend came back from Little Italy last week raving about a pasta dish that had me literally drooling as I scribbled down the description, which I turned into my version of a recipe. Then I ate the entire thing. And then I made it again. —Erin McDowell
- 2 handfuls bucatini
- 2 small zucchinis
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
- reserved pasta water, as needed
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream, or more if you're feeling naughty
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- parmigianno reggiano, to taste
- Cook the bucatini in boiling salted water until al dente, 6-8 minutes. Reserve at least 2 cups of pasta water.
- Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the zucchini and cook over low heat until it begins to caramelize a bit, 7-9 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and stir well to combine. Add a ladleful of warm pasta water and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce until the mixture resembles a sauce, but don't reduce rapidly so as to not turn the zucchini into mush - the zucchini should still have texture, despite being part of a sauce. Add more pasta water as needed until the sauce is formed to your liking.
- Add the cream, and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the bucatini and toss well to combine. Serve garnished generously with parmesan.