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

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

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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