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making my way through the kitchen, one dish at a time
Aug 7, 2015 11:57PM

Cacio e pepe (finally!)


After trying to figure out how to make this simple, yet oh so delicious bowl of goodness, I think we've finally came up with a recipe that will work.  Mind you, these measurements will serve a hearty meal for 1 or a nice portion for 2.  So prepare as desired :-p

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb Bucatina (or pasta of choice, preferably a thicker cut/density)
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated Pecorino Ramano (use the one from the deli)
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of pasta water (from the boiled pasta)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt


A few things to keep in mind with this easy dish is that the cheese and pepper is all really up to your personal preference.  I've listed the standard/appropriate measurements for a decent meal, but even I know that I didn't follow those measurements exactly and this came out to be the best Cacio e pepe I've made to date.

How to Make It

Bowl the pasta in water.  Add dry pasta to already boiling water.  If you use long noodles, insert as is, don't break in half (I usually do this when making spaghetti dishes, but not for this meal).  Add salt to the water for taste.  Cook pasta according to proper cooking instructions.  Add a few more minutes if you are like us and prefer a softer than al dente noodle.

As pasta is cooking, take out the Pecorino and Butter so that they are room temperature.

When the pasta is done, use a measuring cup to take out a 1/4 cup of the boiled water used for the pasta.  Seperate the rest of the pasta from the remaining water using a strainter.

As the pasta is sitting in the strainer, set the stove to Low and put back the 1/4 cup of boiled water.  Once the water is back in the pot, return the water to the pot.  Add the butter and stir to start the butter to melt.  Once the butter has melted about 1/3 of the way, add the cheese.

Continue to stir so that both the butter and cheese completely melt.  Add approximately 1 tablespoon of freshly ground pepper.

If the sauce looks a little watery, turn the heat up to medium and continue to stir.  This will help the sauce thicken.  The sauce should be the consistency of a chowder, but should only be enough to coat the noodles.  This should take about 5 minutes tops.

When the sauce is at a good state, put the noodles in your serving dish of choice and add a sprinkle of pecorino and a few dashes of freshly ground pepper.

Serve...and enjoy.

Mar 22, 2015 9:02PM

Reminiscing Rome: Pasta Carbonara


Reminiscing Rome

Rome was amazing.  Absolutely amazing.  And one of the most memorable things I took back with me, was a craving for Pasta Carbonara.  True pasta carbonara.  I perused the internet, checked my go to recipe site (allrecipes.com), and still didn't seem to find a recipe that captured a simple Italian dish of pasta, pancetta, and creamy egg/cheese sauce.  So after checking up on a few recipes, I combined 2 recipes from allrecipes.com and 1 found on The Food Network site, and got this....a simple, easy version of creamy Pasta Carbonara.

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces (3/4) box of Spaghetti (or whichever pasta you would like)
  • 5 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan Reggiano (freshly grated)
  • ground pepper
  • Pancetta
  • Olive oil

Boil the pasta until cooked.  Add salt for flavor. 

Halfway until it's done, start the pancetta by using 2 tablespoons of olive in a pan.  Cook the pancetta until one side is nice and crispy, stir.  

It's best if your pancetta is cut into 1/4 inch thick strips.  If you bought the pre-diced pangetta, stir in the pan after one side is nice and crispy.  Take the pan off the heat to complete the other side.

While the other side of the pancetta is cooking, the pasta should be ready.  Drain the water and place pasta in a bowl.

With the cooked pancetta, pour contents (pancetta and oil) onto the pasta and mix thoroughly.  Let sit while you prepare the sauce.

Beat the eggs completely.  Then add the cheese 1/4 cup at a time.  Add ground pepper to taste.  I use both the pre-ground pepper as well as freshly ground pepper.

The noodles should be nice and warm (make sure they are not completly hot or too cool), pour the egg-cheese sauce mixture onto the noodles and mix.  If the noodles are too hot, it will cook the egg (and you'll have scrambled egg sauce).  If the noodles are too cool, the cheese in the mixture will not melt.

Serve warm.

I've read online that bacon can be a good substitute.  This may possibly work, but for me, as I reminisce our time in Rome, I wanted to keep this recipe as simple and as Italian as possible.  Enjoy.

Filed in: easy meals, pasta, italian ~ Tagged with: pancetta, spaghetti, italian, pasta
Nov 17, 2012 10:35AM

Green Bean Casserole (with sausage) - Holiday Yummies

So I normally only make this dish for either (or both) Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  Sometimes though, I think I should make it more often, it's rather easy.

Standard Ingredients:

2 Green beans
1 smoked sausage
1 medium size onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cans cream of mushroom
French's fried onion
1 8oz bag mild chedder cheese
salt
pepper

Generally, the green bean to cream of mushroom ratio is 1 to 1, in case you need to make a larger portion.  The amount of cheese you use is up to you, but I use about 1 cup per cheese layer.  You can also use any type of sausage, but I prefer Pork Kelbasa (for this size serving, I use half of the sausage).

How to make it:

Saute onions in oil with a sprinkle of sale.  Add garlic.  Cook garlic and onions.  Then add sausage.  (I cut mine up in quarters.)
Simmer for about 5 minutes.

Drain green beans and then add to sausage mixture.  Mix in the cream of mushroom.
Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set to low heat for ~10 minutes.

In 9x13 pan, layer the bottom with French's fried onion.  Take half of the green bean mixture and use that as the 2nd layer.
The next layer is the cheese.  Then repeat with remaining green bean mixture.

Cook in the oven under 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, lower the heat 350 minutes.
And a layer of cheese and top it off with French's Fried Onions.

Baker for ~10 minutes or until cheese is melted and French's Fried Onions are golden brown.

Cool and serve.