quick meal — hurry up! ::::
Simple and creamy, that’s all this pasta dish is. I had a lunch to myself one day, kids at school, baby asleep, Eat at work. I am the only one in the house who appreciates whole-wheat pasta, so I took advantage of this isolated time to create a cacio e pepe lunch with whole-wheat spaghetti. Literally, cacio e pepe means “cheese and pepper,” two of my favorite things in pasta. Caution: don’t pour all of the cooking water down the drain! The secret to the dish is using some hot pasta water for the sauce: this will melt the cheese and give the sauce a smooth, creamy consistency. This comes together fast, so prepare to eat within minutes. For me this was a perfect “baby nap” lunch, even though I did eat it kind of fast. Par for the course as a mom. I don’t think I’ve had a leisurely dinner without kid on the brain since 2006.
One year ago: impossible pie and caramelized lime mojitos
Two years ago: apple and plum crumble
- salt, for cooking water
- 6 ounces spaghetti (I used whole-wheat)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 teaspoons fresh black pepper
- 1¼ cup grated Parmesan
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until about 2 minutes before tenderness. Drain and reserve ¾ cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook to toast, about 1 minute.
- Add ½ cup of reserved pasta water to skillet and simmer. Add cooked pasta and remaining butter. Turn heat to low and add about ⅔ of the Parmesan, stirring and twisting noodles as cheese melts. Add the remaining Parmesan and stir and twist to melt cheese, and to create sauce to coat the spaghetti. Pasta will be al dente when done. If sauce seems too thick, add some more of the reserved pasta water. Serve immediately. This is enough to serve two modestly, one as a larger meal.