Friday, December 3, 2010

Cacio e Pepe

An italian miracle happened at our house.  The stars aligned, a dish was made, the italian angels sang from on high.

See, Brian's parents just got back from Italy, and ever since their plane landed, they haven't been able to stop talking about cacio e pepe.  It's divine! It's so simple! Italian mac and cheese!

I was like, alright, this shit's gotta be good.  Low and behold, his mom set out to find a recipe, and Miss Ina Garten had one.  I love Ina. "How easy is that?!?" takes on a whole new meaning in this recipe.  It's like, 4 things. I could make it in the 4th grade.  (email me if you get this reference so that we can laugh for 25 minutes. thanks.)

Pecorino and pepper. That's it.

Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper
by Ina Garten

1 tablespoon whole black Tellicherry peppercorns
Kosher Salt
1/2 pound dried Italian egg pasta, such as tagliarelle
1 cup freshly grated aged Pecorino (4 ounces), plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Place the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and crush them until you have a mixture of coarse and fine bits.  Set aside.

Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package until al dente. Ladle 1 cup of the pasta cooking water into a glass measuring cup and reserve it. Drain the pasta quickly in a col and return the pasta to the pot with a lot of the pasta water still dripping.

Working quickly, with the heat on very low, toss the pasta with 1/2 cup of the grated Pecorino,

the crushed peppercorns, cream, butter, parsley, and 1 teaspoon salt, tossing constantly.

If the pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking water. Off the heat, toss in the remaining 1/2 cup Pecorino. Serve immediately with a big bowl of extra grated Pecorino for sprinkling.

If you're feeling frisky, word on the street is the Deb from Smitten Kitchen has a recipe on this too.... Amen.




  1. I love it... do you like your wooden grinder.. Anything exciting going on with you?

  2. I have had this before and it is delicious, but somehow more delicious when you talk about it. You do make me smile. GREG