I love cooking for my boyfriend. I love seeing Lu devour something I made for him. He loves all types of food and it’s cute to see him get excited for every new dish I make. It really makes me happy making him happy. That’s love, right?
If you’re cooking for your boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband for Valentine’s Day this year, I have the perfect fool-proof recipe that will impress your date. It’s simple, sexy and delicious.
It’s Cacio e Pepe!
Cacio e Pepe is an Italian vegetarian classic. In English, it means “cheese and pepper” pasta. That’s really all there is in it: cheese and pepper.
But, for this recipe, I wanted to add in a twist: bacon.
If you’re trying to introduce spiralized veggie pasta to your significant other, but he or she is resisting, this dish will have them begging for more. Cacio e Pepe is sort of like an elegant mac and cheese. The two types of cheeses melt into the pasta and create a luxurious sauce with tons of savory and salty flavor.
The bacon is for the meat-eater. Throw bacon in anything and it instantly becomes the world’s best meal.
This bowl of pasta is lighter on the hips, so you’ll still have the energy to go dancing later. Plus, you’ll have room for some chocolate covered strawberries afterwards and not feel bloated for the rest of the night.
When Lu and I first started dating, I would stress over what I was going to make him for dinner. I’d invite him over and spend so much time in the kitchen, whipping up something messy and complicated. Not so sexy. Or impressive.
This Inspiralized Cacio e Pepe takes 20 minutes to make and I guarantee, as you’re cooking the bacon, your date’s mouth will be watering.
You can enjoy more wine and hand-holding instead of cleaning bowls, plates, spatulas and baking trays. It’s a one skillet dish!
Are you cooking for your date this Valentine’s Day?
Cacio e Pepe with bacon (Zucchini Noodles)
- 3 strips of bacon
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3 medium zucchinis Blade C
- freshly cracked black pepper from a grinder
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese + more to garnish
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat lightly with cooking spray. Add in the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes and then flip over, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Once done, remove and place on a paper-towel lined plate.
- Remove all of the oil from the bacon except for 2 tbsp. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Then, add in the zucchini noodles and toss to cook, for about 2-3 minutes.
- Season the zucchini with about 5 cracks of the pepper and add in the cheeses. Toss to combine thoroughly and then plate into two bowls. Top each bowl with a few more cranks of black pepper and crumble over a piece and a half of bacon in each bowl. Garnish with additional parmigiano reggiano cheese.