Barilla Rigatoni Cacio e Pepe with The Chef’s Garden Char Grilled Mini Zucchini and Whole Tempura Fried Zucchini with Blossoms

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Cacio e Pepe translates to “cheese and pepper” and is thought to be an early ancestor of today’s mac and cheese.

Chef’s Tip for Tempura: Heat a heavy-bottomed pan, preferably stainless steel over medium heat.  Using a thermometer make sure the temperature reaches 350F.  If you don’t have a thermometer your frying oil will be perfect if you insert a wooden spoon into the oil and it begins to sizzle gently. Once each blossom is filled make your tempura batter. For best results use the batter immediately after its made. Don’t overcrowd your pan and if at all possible do the frying in a few separate batches. Once fried remove from the oil and place onto a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and immediately season with salt.


Step 1

Before you begin: Please read through this recipe carefully! There are many things happening at once, and timing is key to the perfect dish.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt and cook the pasta according to the directions, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Step 2

2. While you're waiting for your pasta water to boil, prepare your tempura batter by whisking together the flour and cornstarch. Add the egg and seltzer and whisk until almost smooth.

Step 3

3. Place a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Heat the olive oil and add the sliced squash. Add butter and black pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add the 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pan and stir. Drain and toss the pasta with sauce. Remove the pan from heat and fold in the cheese.

Step 4

4. Heat frying oil to 375 F. Fill each squash blossom with ricotta and Pecorino filling. It is best to use a piping bag or Ziplock back with a corner cut off. Dip each squash and blossom and gently add into the hot frying oil. Fry until lightly golden in color and crispy, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.

Step 5

5. On a large plate, evenly distribute the pasta and squash, top with one fried zucchini and blossom, and scatter with mircro greens and finish with extra cheese.


  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 The Chef's Garden Mini Zucchini and Yellow Squash, grilled then sliced on a 1/2 inch bias
  • 1/2 Cup Romano Cheese, grated
  • 2 Tsp. Fresh Coarsely Milled Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Corn Starch
  • 1 Egg, whisked
  • 3/4 Cup Seltzer
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Pecorino Romano
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 7 The Chef's Garden Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Blossoms
  • 2 Quarts Frying Oil
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