What was the best meal of your life? Does Grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner come to mind, or that mind blowing once in a lifetime restaurant experience, or the first time your significant other cooked for you? Mine’s easy: the last night we were in Italy. We went back to the restaurant we’d had dinner at the first night-just a couple blocks from our B&B. The food was amazing, the atmosphere adorable, and was so quintessentially Italy. I had Cacio e Pepe, a simple dish with amazing flavor. Tonight, I’m going to take my first stab at recreating that dish at home. Here’s the recipe I’m going to start with:
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 16 ounces bucatini pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- dash of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground (more if you’d like)
- 1/2 cup pasta water
- 5 ounces grated parmesan cheese
- In a large pot, salt water for pasta (at least 1 tablespoon). Cook according to package for about 8-10 minutes until al dente. Before straining bucatini, reserve at least 1/2 cup of pasta water. Strain pasta.
- In the same pot add olive oil, dash of garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. You will want at least 1 tablespoon of freshly cracked black pepper; however, if you want more feel free to pepper it up! Cook the mixture for one minute on medium heat.
- Add pasta back to the pot along with the half-cup of water. Mix well then begin to add the Parmesan cheese. Reserve a few tablespoons of cheese for topping.
- Divide pasta in four large bowls and top with additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Buon appetite!
I’m going to half everything so we don’t end up with a ton of pasta-I think this probably isn’t suited well for leftovers. And Jeff and I like to use recipes as a starting point; we’ll definitely use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. I kind of can’t believe we’ve waited this long to try and replicate this dish; maybe the sting of the “honeymoon being over” was too fresh. But I think this is something I can make fairly well; I’ve had a few foodie failures lately. My alfredo? Broken and sad without all that fat. My beef & bean burritos? Bland. Poor Jeff’s going to waste away if I can’t get it together in the kitchen soon! At least my pizza was a win the other night, and I have a feeling if I keep baking (which IS my forte), he’ll be just fine. 🙂 I had to switch around my mental plan for my run distance today-was going to be long run day, but homegirl’s not trying to hit half marathon distance in 25 MPH winds. So I’ll save the long run for Friday and hit 6 miles over lunch with boot camp after work if I can muster the energy. I had one of those “wide awake for hours” nights last night and cannot stop yawning at my desk!
And finally, because I can’t stop with the silly animal memes lately…