Pappardelle : Cacio e Pepe

Posted on September 6, 2012

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I really wanted to make a nice pasta dish. I had a fantastic dinner out at a little Italian Restaurant on Friday night, and I had Pappardelle (the ribbon pasta) for the first time in a really long time. They prepared it with lobster, shrimp, and pancetta and a bunch of good things- I know that I kind of swore off making pasta without using some kind of machine, but… I thought about it again today and I figured maybe I just had the wrong countertop before, maybe that was my major malfunction…

I decided to give it another try. Another countertop, another day, right? After cleaning up everything in sight, sift your flour onto the CLEAN and dry countertop. Use 1-3/4 c of all purpose flour, and 1 cup of semolina flour.

Put your 6 eggs, 4 teaspoons of olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a bowl, make a well in the flour, and pour bowl into the center of the flour. Use a fork to whisk the egg mixture into the flour. If the egg mixture flows out over the flour, it’s no big deal. Just scoop it up with the fork and mix it in. This is why you cleaned the entire countertop off, right? Right.
Your hands will get very, very messy. Try not to touch too many things at this point in the game. Especially your camera. It might never be the same, but the dough has yet to dry completely on the power button on my camera… it may be the end of it’s life…

Roll into two equal sized balls, knead until fully combined. Wrap in plastic, put in fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, to a maximum of overnight.
Roll out until it’s thin enough to see your fingers through it. You know, noodle thickness.

Either put a damp towel over them if you are going to use them right away, or you can cut them and then freeze them in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. I used half right away, and froze the other half.

Before you do anything else – boil salted water for your pasta. When it comes to a rolling boil, put the pasta in for about 3-1/2 minutes. This will cook it until it’s a few minutes til al dente. (To just cook the pasta til al dente, cook it a full 5 minutes – and serve with whatever other sauce you prefer…)

Cacio e Pepe, yeah. It’s a thing. In a large saucepan, melt two tablespoons of butter, and a teaspoon of fresh pepper – swirl it around at a low heat, until the pepper is lightly toasted.

When pasta is drained, and you’ve reserved about 1c (just incase…) of pasta water, toss with butter and pepper, til combined.

Add your fresh grated parm and Romano cheeses (a combined total of 1-1/4 cup, heavy on Romano) add reserved water to make up sauce- keep on medium heat til you serve. Top with a bit more fresh grated cheese if you are a cheese fanatic. Serve with a light salad, perhaps, I did a cucumber and carrot salad from my csa share, tossed with a light balsamic/honey dressing.

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