Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cacio e Pepe

I forget the exact context but Blake and I were at our favorite restaurant the other night talking about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. The usual. I'm of course going on and on about all the things I want to do this year. Small thing. Big things. Things of happiness. 

And my husband, the ever practical, looks at me and comments that we may not be able to all those things this year. And my response to him, "why, not". Why can't we hit the road in Utah for 10 days, go to Yellowstone to see the wolves, eat at Denver's top 10 bakeries in a day, go to Red Rocks for a concert or 2, fish, and spend weekend trips in about 40 different wilderness areas. Apparently practically is not my thing, which is why we are good for each other. This conversation occurs while I am enjoying a rather large pizza and flight of beer. Clearly I'm not in the habit of denying myself the things that make me happy. 

So when a cheesy, peppery, noodle recipe keeps popping up in all my food magazines, I'm all in. Cheesy noodle delights are my jam. Cacio e pepe is a traditional Italian dish. It contains four ingredients that when combined create the most wonderful comfort dish. Simple to make and utterly enjoyable. 

Cacio e Pepe
Adapted from Date Night In, serves 4-6, 25 minutes to make

2 teaspoon salt
16 ounces spaghetti
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 cups parmesan 

Add salt to your pasta water and cook your pasta according to package directions. Before draining your pasta, remove a 3/4 cup of pasta cooking water and save. 

While the pasta cooks, melt butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Once melted, add the pepper. Let pepper infuse for a minute. 

Once the pasta has cooked, add reserved pasta water to butter and pepper. Let simmer 2 minutes over low heat. Add drained pasta to the pan and 1 cup parmesan and toss with tongs or a fork until cheese has melted. Serve with remaining parmesan sprinkled on top.  

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