How to Make the Ultimate Umami-Bomb Vegetarian Demi-Glace
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound speck or lean slab bacon, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1-inch strips
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 1/2-by- 1/4-inch matchsticks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds fresh or frozen ricotta cavatelli or gnocchi
1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup shredded basil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the speck and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the speck fat. Add the zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until barely softened, about 2 minutes. Return the speck to the skillet and remove from the heat.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the cavatelli until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the cavatelli, reserved cooking water and tomato to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently over moderate heat until heated through.
Transfer the pasta to a large shallow bowl and toss with the basil and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan. Serve at once, passing additional Parmesan at the table.