Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cacio e Pepe

This is out of the February 2010 Cook's Illustrated. It's a good quick weekday pasta for which boiling the water is the biggest time suck. I've made it a couple times now and think it may be something of a replacement for my famous ham and cream pasta which often ends up too hot for Eeva's taste. I fudge a lot of the stuff in the recipe (don't measure or use a Dutch oven) and it turns out just fine.

6 ounces Pecorino Romano, 4 ounces finely grated (about two cups) and 2 ounces coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
1 lb spaghetti
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground pepper

1. Place finely grated Pecorino in medium bowl. Set colander in large bowl.

2. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt;cook, stirring frequently. Drain pasta and reserve cooking water. Return pasta to bowl.

3. Slowly whisk 1 cup reserved water into finely grated Pecorino until smooth. Whisk in cream, oil, and black pepper. Pour mixture over pasta, toss to coat. Let rest, adding up to 1/2 cup more water to adjust consistency as needed. Serve passing coarsely grated cheese separately.

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