Venture into Nerd-dom
Not to get all sappy sap-paroni on you, but I just wanted to extend many thanks to all of you for reading. I started this blog over a year ago, and didn’t even tell people that I had a blog out of embarrassment. But, my venture into nerd-dom has been a fun one – a creative, therapeutic outlet for me and hopefully an entertaining channel for you. I am excited to continue this nerd-ity with you all. So thanks for visiting my nerd-opolis. Feel free to spread the nerd-itis onto everyone you know via Facebook, Twitter, RSS or e-mail. Embrace your inner nerd-ness. Yes, I’m weird, but I’m OK with it.
Now, let’s talk cacio e peppe. I’ve stumbled across this Italian wonder quite a few times. Being that I could substitute pasta for air I eat it so much, I decided to give it a whirl.
Cacio e Pepe Pasta
Cacio e pepe means cheese and cracked pepper in Italian. It’s an infamous Italian dish with pasta, cracked pepper and typically pecorino cheese. Sounds simple to us, yet in Italian it sounds like a one-of-a-kind Prada shoe.
Don’t let these three simple ingredients fool you. Just like a Prada shoe, there’s an art to it. It consists of using pasta water to make a creamy, flavorful sauce without butter, heavy cream or olive oil. Please note that I used what I had on hand and I was only cooking for moi.
- a little wheat pasta,
- some spinach linguini,
- parmesan cheese (approx. 1/4 cup) and
- cracked pepper.
There are a few techniques to mastering the art of cacio e pepe. I decided to use the more modern approach which involves taking pasta water out of the bowling pot and adding it to a separate skillet. Some recipes advise keeping water in the pot and straining the pasta a little bit. I was afraid it would dump into the sink and go bye bye, so I opted for the mod way.
First, boil water. I typically don’t add salt to the water but this time I did to give it a little more flavor.
Once water boils, add pasta. Boil for about 6 minutes. Using a measuring cup, take 1/2 cup of the starchy hot pasta water out of the pot and pour it on a hot (medium-high) skillet.
Add cheese and whisk until it forms a creamy sauce. Add cracked pepper.
If it’s too watery, add more cheese. If it turns grainy, add more pasta water and keep stirring.
Using a colander, strain the pasta. Then, pour the pasta into the skillet with the pasta water, cheese and pepper. With a pair of tongs, stir pasta in the sauce until it’s absorbed and resembles a creamy goodness. Top with a little more parmesan cheese just because.