Pasta with Pecorino & Pepper
From Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes or as long as it takes to cook the pasta plus 3 minutes
1 box (8oz/250g) good quality Italian egg pasta (I used De Cecco Pappardelle)
1 tbsp whole black Tellicherry peppercorns
1 cup freshly grated aged Pecorino cheese (4oz/125g) plus extra for serving
(Note in the book: grate the cheese on the smaller teardrop holes of the box grater)
2 tbsp heavy cream
1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley, minced
Large pinch of salt
1. Cook the pasta to al dente in a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven (or really large pot).
2. In the meantime, organize the rest of the ingredients so that you can quickly add them just before serving. Crush the peppercorns in either a mortar and pestle or small food mill (I use my coffee grinder, which comes apart for easy cleaning so my coffee won’t taste like pepper).
3. Drain the pasta, (reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water) and return to the empty pot and either reduce the heat to very low (or in my case, I just turned it off…it stays hot for quite a while). Add half the cheese, crushed peppercorns, cream, butter, parsley and salt, tossing constantly. Just before transferring to a serving bowl add the rest of the cheese, toss again and serve. Have more grated Pecorino handy for sprinkling.
I served it with a mixed green salad, but it was too tangy, so go easy on any dressing. You don't want to overpower the pasta. In fact, my Honey, thought we should have just had the pasta. Perhaps next time I'll listen.