Friday, March 13, 2015

Can You Boil Water? Then You Can Make This Pasta Dish!

Here's a taste of spring to keep you going! They're from my friend Mace's yard.

Can You Boil Water? Then You Can Make This Pasta Dish!
Missy Tippens (The Belle)

It's still Speedbo month, so I've been trying to make quick and easy meals. This one is PERFECT for busy times.

I found the recipe in a daily email that I get from Bon Appetite Magazine. I always check out the recipes and Pin the ones I'm interested in keeping. I actually get a LOT of foodie email newsletters. So if you're interested, you might want to check out my Pinterest Cooking and Recipes board. :)

(click here but be sure to come back! Don't get sidetracked on Pinterest!)

Cacio e Pepe

Adapted from Recipe at
(name of recipe means "cheese and pepper")

6 oz. pasta (I made a whole 12 ounce box of Angel Hair pasta but used only half the noodles)
3 Tbs. butter divided (the recipe said unsalted but I only had salted and it was fine)
1 tsp freshly ground pepper, coarsely ground (I didn't measure this, just winged it)
1-1.5 cups shredded parmesan (original recipe called for other cheeses I didn't have on hand--surprise, surprise) :)

Okay, now the hard part: Boil the pasta water! :) Once it boils, add the pasta noodles. Look at the package directions for the cooking time for al dente, and cook for two minutes less than that. DO NOT DRAIN THE COOKING WATER OFF UNTIL YOU HAVE RESERVED A MEASURING CUP FULL (2 CUPS).

While that's cooking, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Start grinding that pepper. Swirl the pan to let the pepper "toast" for about a minute. I actually let mine go for longer, and it was fine. I like my butter to brown a bit for pasta.


Add a ½ cup pasta water and let it simmer.

Add the drained noodles to the pan, along with the rest of the butter. The noodles will finish cooking in the pasta water.

Reduce heat to low and add the cheese, tossing with tongs until mixed. Add more pasta water as needed to make the right consistency. Using only parmesan made it rather thick, so by the time we were ready to eat, I ended up using most of the pasta water. It really does add a nice richness to the sauce.

We had frozen green beans with dinner--our favorite are the steam in the bag type (but I was out this time). I just added butter and kosher salt.

When I finished this pasta dish, I was blown away. It's so DELISH!! And so, so simple. The pasta was ready in probably 10 minutes (not counting time for the water to boil).



  1. I love Spring dishes that are quick and light! And that bouquet. Gorgeous!

    1. Aren't the flowers gorgeous! They were all colors and some have multiple blooms. I guess they'd be considered heirloom--dug up from someone's yard and transplanted to hers several years ago.

  2. First I'm sobbing over the fact that you actually have spring flowers growing in gardens already. I have snow. Growing some more today as a matter of fact. :-( Second, I'm surprised that the pasta water would make a difference to the sauce. I've never tried that. You have me craving pasta now and I haven't even had breakfast yet.

    1. Kav, I'm sorry you're still growing snow! We had a day last week that was 76 degrees. I'm just hoping we don't have another freeze that kills everything.

      I love the trick of using the pasta water! I've seen it done on cooking shows. The starch helps give the sauce some body.

  3. So easy and simple! Perfect for a busy day.

    And I love those flowers. You know, I had forgotten until I saw them that I planted bulbs last fall! I'll have to check to see if anything is coming up yet.

    I doubt if they're growing yet. Even though we've had temperatures close to 70 in the last week, we're heading toward more "seasonal" temps next week, and our spring flowers don't show up until late April/early May.

    Winter is far from over for us :)

    1. Jan, our trees have even started blooming! It's so nice, giving a feeling of hope! That's why I shared. :)