Parenting Survival Guide/Grocery Scouting

October 21, 2012

“Thank god it’s the weekend, oh wait, I’m a parent” — my friend Carrie posted that status update a few Fridays ago which pretty much sums up parenthood to a toddler, especially one who wakes up at 5am (in this he clearly is Tim’s son — I am not a morning person).   One of our coping mechanisms is, naturally, found in the kitchen.  This cacio-e-pepe is so fast and easy and delicious that even after a 14 hour day of parenting either parent can make it with one hand while opening a bottle of something suitable alcoholic with the other.

This recipe is from Bon Appetit and I suggest cooking exactly as they direct (although Tim does like to double the pepper).

Recipe by the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
Photograph by Tom Schierlitz

Caci0-e-pepe
Kosher salt
6 oz. pasta (I’m obsessed with, and highly recommend, DeBoles Organic Artichoke Flour Pasta)
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.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Nomadic D October 22, 2012 at 2:45 am

I found Caccio e pepe when I was in Rome a few years ago, turns out it’s *the* traditional pasta dish over there, but over here it’s kind of a secret! My husband and I got totally hooked. So easy, so delicious. Just have to make sure to have a good hunk of pecorino on hand and you’re good to go.

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

carried October 22, 2012 at 11:48 am

Oh, YUM. I can’t wait to try it – I (of the aformentioned facebook status, and of two early birds) can always use a fast-and-dirty dinner suggestion.

kate October 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Nothing sums up parenting better than that. And four years in I still cannot help feel a twinge (okay, a massive surge) of annoyance that my kid does not recognize that it is Sunday morning and I should be able to lounge in bed and read Sunday Styles. Not be roused out of bed at 6.50 to turn on Bob the Builder.

Lauren E. October 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Love this! It’s the ultimate comfort food. I love this especially in light of the hurricane we’re supposed to have here this weekend. Snuggle time + cheesy pasta + reading by flashlight = perfection.

jean goddard October 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm

I love this recipe!

Rea October 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm

this is the americanized version.. my husband is italian and we never use butter, in fact, we use olive oil instead of the butter. this is on of the easiest recipes I`ve ever known, so actually no measurements needed, just do as you feel like you would like to it. cook the pasta, pour a bit of oil on top, add salt and pepper and either only Pecorino Romano or mix it with Parmigiano Reggiano. don`t melt the cheese!! if you like melted cheese, eat swiss or monterey jack or so…!

Ashley October 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Made it tonight! SOOO good!

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