I did not realize it when I opened the shop, but I have come to understand that my motivation for finding great products was to able to reduce the amount of time it takes to make and share a delicious and satisfying meal. This week's experiment with my girl friends was after a long work day, so I needed something simple and quick, but it also needed to make me feel nourished and full. Natural choice is pasta, of course, but what to do?
Last week a customer told me that he was making Caccio e Pepe, and this was a new dish for me. Yes, I have tossed pasta with butter and salt and sprinkled with parmesan at least once a week for the last seven years, but Caccio e Pepe is different, trust me, it is so much better. This recipe is so simple, but produces a delicious, creamy pasta that was visually beautiful and I could not stop eating it (neither could Saskia or Bre).
So, how do you make it? There are hundreds of recipes on the web, but I read a few and made it up, which is how I cook. Here is what I did:
1. boil 1 lb of pasta ( I used spaghetti) in a large stock pot in well salted water
2. combine 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan & 1 1/2 cups grated Moliterno Al Tartufo (you can sub substitute pecorino) in a large pasta bowl
3. add 3 tablespoons butter and a good drizzle of olive oil (you can adjust this to your taste, I go heavy butter, well, because I like it that way, but most recipes were more olive oil. The butter gave it a creamy richness that I would miss.)
4. add a cup of the pasta water from the pot and stir it into the cheese to create a paste.
5. When your pasta is cooked but still has a good bite, pull it out of the water and add it to the dish. Don't drain it, and do not worry about the pasta water, it creates a sauce when it is tossed with the pasta and the cheese "paste" that is already in the bowl.
6. Allow it to sit for a few minutes for the flavors to meld, garnish with more black pepper grated to your taste, and grated parmesan.
Lastly, guard your plate because this is that good.
You can use a lot of different products, but start with good ingredients and it will taste great. In total this takes twenty minutes to prepare and you can feed four adults for about $35. In terms of wine, I could go in a lot of directions, but red seems the best fit and I liked a simple inexpensive Nebbiolo with it!
Pop into the shop & we can help you get all the ingredients & you too can impress your friends. Just don't tell them how easy it is!
eat, drink, and think,