Tuesday, January 10, 2017

ATK Pasta with pepper and Pecorino Romano


1. Originally this recipe called for spaghetti, but we felt the spaghetti didn't hold onto the sauce very well.  Use linguini or fettuccine noodles instead.

2. Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano cheese are similar in taste and texture.  Pecorino is a bit lighter in flavor.

3. In steps 4-6 below, you can spoon out about 2 cups of the cooked pasta water into a small microwave-safe bowl, reserving it to heat up for step 8.


6 oz. noodles
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
3-4 oz brick of Pecorino Romano cheese (not yet grated/shredded)
1 Tbl cream
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for pasta water (optional)
(optional, prepared ahead of time) mushrooms, asparagus, chicken


1. Start a pot of water boiling for the pasta; add the salt to the pot.

2. While the water is heating up, divide the cheese this way:

  • 2 oz very finely grated (about a cup), set aside in a medium bowl
  • 1 oz coarsely shredded (about 1/3 cup), set aside to be served with the meal
3. Grind the pepper if necessary; set aside.

4. Place a colander in a bowl that is slightly larger than the colander (or see Notes above); have a ladle nearby.

5. When water is boiling, add 1-2 tsp of olive oil to it (optional) and then add pasta to it.  Cook until it is al dente, stirring occasionally.

6. Drain pasta in prepared colander, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water (see Notes above).

7. Return cooked pasta back to original pot.

8. Using the very hot reserved pasta water (see Notes), gradually whisk in one cup of it first into the finely grated cheese until smooth. If the mixture is lumpy, add 1-2 Tbl at a time of the remaining pasta water.

9. Stir in the pepper.

10. Stir in the cream and oil. 

11. Gradually pour the cheese mixture over the pasta and toss until coated.

12. Let pasta rest for 1-2 mins, tossing frequently and adjusting consistency by adding either more pasta water, cream, or some of the coarsely grated/shredded cheese.

13. Serve with shredded cheese and a pepper mill.

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