Thursday, January 01, 2009

Pasta Pepe e Cacio

Pasta Pepe e Cacio
From a la di stasio

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5-8 minutes (plus time to boil pasta)

Serves 4


1 lb/500g pasta (I used multigrain spaghettini)
2-4 tbsp butter or olive oil or combo (that’s what I did)
2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup or so grated Romano or Parmesan or combo (I used Asiago and it was quite clumpy, although delicious)
Grated lemon zest & juice of 1 lemon

1. Boil pasta as per directions in salted water (cooking time anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on the type of pasta used).

2. In the meantime, place the butter (and olive oil, if using) and pepper in a hot serving platter/bowl. Put the platter over the pasta cooking pot to melt the butter and keep everything warm.

3. Here’s where we slightly differ:
Josee’s version: Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Transfer pasta to platter and toss to coat with peppery butter.
Ruth’s version: Use tongs to take pasta out of cooking water along with any water that clings to the pasta. Toss to coat with the peppery butter.

Add most of the cheese a little at a time, tossing and adding a little cooking water if needed. (My cheese clumped, probably because I used Asiago instead of Romano or Parmesan, but it tasted awesome anyway.)

Add the lemon zest and juice, and the last of the cheese. Toss and serve. Best with a simple salad for a very tasty meal.

Note: I served it with some Sichuan Tilapia ( used the rub from Dai Grilled Chicken and pan grilled it). Actually, it was overkill and I really didn't get to taste the wonderful garlicy & subtle, perfumy pepper rub, so I won't be doing this combo again. That said, I'll definitely be making both dishes...just not together.


Sean said...

One of my favorites! We are lucky enough to have Lucca market here in SF, where they frequently stock caciocavallo cheese. Ideal for this dish.

Ruth Daniels said...

I probably should check out the one shop that just might carry it. Caciocavallo wasn't even mentioned in the thanks for sharing. Now I understand the name of the dish.

Hope you have a fantastic 2009