Cacio e Pepe

aka Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper
from Cook’s Illustrated, Jan & Feb 2010

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces Pecorino Romano, 4 ounces finely grated (about 2 cups) and 2 ounces finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Table salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Place finely grated Pecorino in medium bowl. Set colander in large bowl.
  2. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring frequently until al dente (about 10 minutes).
  3. Drain pasta into colander set in bowl, reserving cooking water. Pour 1 1/2 cups cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder; return pasta to now empty bowl.
  4. Slowly whisk 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water into finely grated Pecorino until smooth. Whisk in cream, oil, and black pepper. Gradually pour cheese mixture over pasta, tossing to coat. Let pasta rest 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting consistency with remaining 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Serve, passing coarsely grated Pecorino separately.

Pasta, Peppers and Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1 package fettuccine
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, sliced into 4 pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups (14 1/2 oz can) diced tomatoes in juice
  • grated parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450˚. In 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish, toss peppers, onion and basil in olive oil and spread in even layer. Add sausage pieces.
  2. Bake 25 minutes, uncovered, stirring once or twice.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and juice and bake 10 more minutes.
  4. Cook pasta. Drain.
  5. Remove sausage, cut into thin slices, and return to pepper mixture.
  6. Combine pasta and pepper mixture, toss, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti and Meat Balls

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped and sauteed
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup pure olive oil

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juice, pureed in a blender
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 basil leaves, chiffonade

Spaghetti:

  • 12 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1 pound #8 or #9 spaghetti
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Garlic Bread:

  • 1 stick soften butter
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 country loaf, cut into 3/4-inch slices

Meat Ball Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, except olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat the oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and fry until golden brown, but not cooked through completely. (remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.)

Tomato Sauce Preparation

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  2. Add pureed tomatoes and juice, bay leaf and parsley, pepper flakes and salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, add meatballs and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and parsley, add the basil and serve.

Spaghetti Preparation

  1. Bring salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
  2. Drain well in a colander, toss in sauce, serve with meatballs and Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Bread Preparation

  1. Combine butter and garlic. Spread evenly on bread and broil until browned.

Yields 4 servings.

Crawfish Monica

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta (fusilli or rotelli)
  • 1 sticks butter
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsps flour
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup green onion, green and white parts chopped
  • 1/4 lb velveeta (or white american cheese)
  • 1 lb crawfish (if frozen, sauté in butter/spices before)
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Joe’s Stuff seasoning (or equivalent cajun allspice)

Preparation

  1. Boil pasta.
  2. Sauté onions, peppers, and celery in butter until soft. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add flour and stir until absorbed. Add half & and half and heat through.  Add cheese and melt it all down. Add crawfish and parsley. Season with Joe’s or Tony’s, etc..
  3. Bake 30 minutes at 350˚F. (optional)