Monday, February 01, 2010

Pasta Cacio e Pepe

This is what you eat when you haven't shopped in three weeks, you have a baby that doesn't take naps and your paid maternity leave has ended. Cacio e pepe simply means cheese and pepper in Italian. I used egg noodles because that's what I had in my pantry, but spaghetti or even capellini will work with this recipe. Don't forget to reserve some of the pasta cooking water to make a sauce for the pasta. Manga!

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, 3 rounded handfuls
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, optional
DIRECTIONS

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta and salt it. Add the pasta and cook to al dente. Make sure to save some of the cooking water (about 1/4 cup) for the sauce right before you drain the pasta.

Place a large skillet over low heat with the butter, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and pepper. Let it hang out until the pasta is done.

When the pasta is ready, take a ladle of the starchy cooking water and add it to the butter-pepper mixture. Drain the pasta and toss it in the pan with the sauce. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese in small handfuls, then toss the pasta with tongs, until all the cheese is incorporated into the creamy sauce. Add another ladle of cooking water if needed, then season the pasta to taste with salt and drizzzle with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle a little chopped parsley, if desired.

1 comment:

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