Cacio e Pepe: The Cozy Pasta

I’ve fallen in love with a pasta recipe.

img_0218

Cheese and Pepper Pasta

Motherland Mac and Cheese

Cacio e Pepe is such a simple pasta dish. I made it for the first time two years ago and it’s becoming one of my heart and soul comfort foods. The name literally means “cheese and pasta” and it’s as easy as that.

Cacio e Pepe Recipe Review

I love Bon Appetit’s recipe and highly recommend it. Whenever you’re needing a little pasta comfort, grab a fork and get ready to twirl up some cozy.

Bon Appetit’s Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino

Preparation

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot.

Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender.

Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.

Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.

Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer.

Add pasta and remaining butter.

Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted.

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.

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Potatoes and Pot of Guinness

darby-ogillEvery St. Patty’s day we watch Darby O’Gill and the Little People and eat something Irish-ish. Sometimes it’s pasties. Sometimes it’s cabbage, but it’s ALWAYS potatoes. Red ones to be exact.

This year I’ve decided to make a recipe I’ve had for years, but didn’t try until January. Real Simple’s Smashed Potatoes and Cornichons.

IMG_0394

Those gherkin pickles are amazing mashed up into the mustardy, butter love of warm potatoes AND it goes great with a Guinness– what else could you ask for on St. Patrick’s Day?

I know, I know….

5b06e3be4a93b6823f6f7b8df94300b2

Sausage with Smashed Potatoes and Cornichons

From Real Simple

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 1/2pounds small red potatoes (about 18), halved
  2. kosher salt and black pepper
  3. 3tablespoons olive oil
  4. Italian sausage links (about 1 1/2 pounds total) — I substituted Field Roast Vegetarian Sausage
  5. 1/2cup cornichons, chopped, plus 3 tablespoons of the brine
  6. 2teaspoons Dijon mustard
  7. 1/2small sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), chopped
  8. 1/4cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the sausages to the skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornichon brine, mustard, remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  6. Add the potatoes, cornichons, onion, and parsley to the bowl and mix, mashing gently. Cut the sausages into large pieces and serve with the potatoes.

 

 

MOVIE FOOD: Temple of Doom

The Temple of Doom Dilemma

Let me start this by saying, I am a strict Ovo-lacto vegetarian. I am also a huge Indiana Jones fan. So when I decided to create meals for the three original Indy films, I had a small problem– Temple of Doom.

hqdefault

There’s a complete dining sequence in this film. I can’t ignore that famous food, it’s what everyone remembers from the movie, but at the same time it’s not vegetarian friendly.

Raiders was easy, just don’t buy bad dates.

Last Crusade, simple, just make german potatoes, veggie sausage with onions, and have a nice English ale for Papa Jones.

img_9584

Remember that time I served you fake monkey brains?

Here was my solution, my dessert would also be their dessert with a huge exception–Chilled Pudding.

Here’s how I made vegetarian friendly “Monkey Brains” pudding.

First I made chocolate pudding. Straight out of the box for this one my friends.

Eerily, I had these white bowls that worked a little too well for the situation.

I topped the pudding with Chubby Hubby cookie bars from Whole Foods. They have some crunchy pretzel pieces and chewy caramel that I thought would be the, uh, right texture.

img_9574

Then I squirted a can of whipped cream into a bowl and added several drops of red food dye. And yep– I suddenly had veggie-friendly Temple of Doom food.

img_9576