A few of my guarantees during the pandemic have been that I have binged a lot of TV, I have cooked a lot, I have tried out many new recipes and I have missed going on vacation. Insert Stanley Tucci here! He actually encompasses all of these guarantees for me. My mom recently recommended his new CNN TV series to me called “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” and I have been in heaven. Not only did I get to pretend to go on an Italian vacation with him during each episode, but he also inspired me to try some new recipes.
Today’s recipe is so simple, I have no idea why I have never eaten it or tried to make it. I only recently heard about it on another cooking show, and watching Stanley make it, I decided to go out in search for a simple recipe to try out on my own family. The recipe is Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti, or “Spaghetti with Cheese and Pepper”. Simple, right? Well, if you never eaten it before, think an adult “Mac ‘n Cheese” with a kick (from the black pepper). Everyone, except my son, liked this new recipe, so I have added it to my recipe rotation (and I can just sub out butter only spaghetti for my son, easy enough!) Enjoy Cacio e Pepe. Thank you Stanley for taking us to Italy even during a pandemic and for Bon Appetit for always sharing tasty and simple recipes to make at home!
Cacio e Pepe
This recipe is copied from and compliments of BonAppetit.com.
Ingredients: salt, 6oz. pasta (such as bucatini or spaghetti), 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided, 1 tsp. black pepper, ¾ cup finely Parmesan, ⅓ cup finely grated Pecorino
1. Bring 3 qts water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
3. Add ½ cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted.
4. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.
Blogger’s Tip: I treated this dish as a “side- dish” and served it alongside a simple grilled chicken recipe, similar to how I would with a risotto or pasta salad recipe.