Zucchini and Pasta Sandwich
This sandwich, developed by Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli of Frankies Spuntino in Brooklyn, is a triumph of leftovers: a simple zuke sautee meets linguine cacio e pepe on a tender slab of pizza bianca. (The Franks use bread from New York’s Grandaisy Bakery; a similar recipe is here.) The creation of this sandwich was profiled in our video Sandwich Stories: The Franks’ Zucchini and Pasta Sandwich.
For the Sautéed Zucchini
- 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and coarsely sliced
- 1 large onion, sliced
- Olive oil
- Crushed red pepper
- 1⁄4 cup powdered pecorino romano cheese
- 3 eggs, beaten
For the Linguine Cacio e Pepe and the Sandwich
- 1⁄2 lb. dried linguine
- 1⁄4 cup powdered pecorino romano cheese, plus more
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pieces (4 by 6-inch) pizza bianca
- Olive oil
- Tomato Sauce (optional)
- Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
- Make the zucchini: Mix together the cheese and eggs in a small bowl. In a large skillet, sauté zucchini and onion in a generous amount of olive oil until beginning to brown. Add salt and crushed red pepper, and continue cooking until the zucchini is tender throughout. Pour in the egg and fold into the zucchini until egg is just cooked through. Remove the pan from heat.
- Make the pasta: In a medium pot, bring to a boil just enough generously salted water to cover the pasta, about six cups. Add linguine and cook, stirring frequently, until the linguine is cooked al dente and the water has evaporated to just a few tablespoons. Add the cheese to the pasta and water and toss to incorporate; add a generous amount of fresh-ground black pepper and salt to taste (if the pasta is dry, add a splash of olive oil). Remove from heat.
- Build the sandwich: Halve the slices of pizza bianca crosswise, brush the insides with olive oil, and put them in the oven until just beginning to toast. Onto the bottom half of each slice, layer a generous scoop of the zucchini mixture, topped with a quarter of the pasta. Drizzle with more olive oil, spoon on a little tomato sauce (if using), sprinkle generously with more pecorino romano, and top the sandwiches with the second half of the bread. Slice in half and serve immediately.
Note: Both the zucchini and the pasta can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Whether they start out hot or cold, Frank F. suggests letting the ingredients come to room temperature before building the sandwich; Frank C. says he prefers it either fridge-cold or hot from the stove. Either way, you can’t really go wrong.