Italian recipe for Cacio e Pepe Butternut Squash – buttery, cheesy and delicious veggie noodles

Ingredients
5-6 cups butternut squash noodles (about 2 medium-size butternut squash)
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
¼ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 cup water
1 cup Pecorino Romano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, the best if you grind it yourself on the coarsest setting, plus more for serving
¼ cup Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired

How to
Spiralize squashes: Cut necks off squashes and cut each in half crosswise. Using a thin spaghetti blade in a spiral maker, spiralize squash chunks. If noodles are very long, trim with kitchen shears to the desired length. You may use store-bought butternut squash noodles if you wish.

In a large skillet on medium, melt butter and add olive oil. We are using butter even though it is not traditionally used because the butternut squash noodles are not pasta noodles so we need that extra creaminess that butter produces.

Add noodles and salt and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes on medium-high. Add water a bit at the time every few minutes. Note: For regular Cacio e Pepe you would use pasta water, so we are adding splashes of water to help with tenderizing or cooking these veggie noodles faster as well as for making the cheese sauce taste better.

Remove skillet from heat and add Pecorino-Romano. as well as ground black pepper. Stir and toss vigorously until both ingredients are well incorporated into the butternut squash noodles. Toss in a drizzle of the olive oil and season with salt if needed.

Sprinkle some parmesan cheese when you serve it if you desire.

Notes:
You may add zucchini noodles and mix with butternut squash noodles.

Prep time 10 minutes only if you going to spiralize butternut squash yourself. Cook time depends on the pan and the temperature you are cooking at. I like my skillet wide, and I cook at medium-high heat.

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Recipe provided courtesy of Sandra’s Easy Cooking food blog.