cipollini cacio e pepe.

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glorified buttered noodles of our childhoods.

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who doesn’t love a buttery noodle? lol. i always liked red sauce as a kid, so when i saw friends who didn’t like red sauce on spaghetti putting butter on their noodles i was like oooooooh. butterrrrr. cool.

cacio e pepe is such a delicious, simple yet elevated pasta dish you can put together in about 15 minutes.

the purists don’t use any onion but i used minced cipollini onion in the skillet to pep it up a notch. garlic would also be amazing obviously, but i tried not to stray too far from the traditional basic ingredients.

don’t forget to reserve a cup of the pasta water after cooking the noodles. this step is key!

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when i usually make spaghetti i just toss it with olive oil at the end to keep the noodles from sticking and immediately add red sauce. but if you don’t intend to use pasta sauce, you must reserve some pasta water and toss it with the cooked noodles in a cast iron pan (ideally, cast iron) to keep the noodles smooth and not clumped together. then melt in that cheeeesey goodness and dinna is served.

and extra black pepper and red pepper flakes for me! and a spot of vino, of course.

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gimme that wintery pile of comfort.

Cipollini Onion Cacio e Pepe

Serves 2-3

Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces bucatini or spaghetti noodles

  • kosher salt

  • 3 TB. unsalted butter

  • 1 cipollini onion, minced

  • 2 - 3 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 cup shaved parmesan & romano cheese (I found a shaved blend of these cheeses at the store)

  • crushed red chili flakes

Instructions-

Boil 6 cups of water in a medium pot with a big pinch of salt. Once boiling, add the dry noodles and cook 7 or 8 minutes (or to 2 minutes before noodles are actually tender). Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before straining the noodles.

Mince the cipollini onion. In a cast iron skillet, melt 2 TB of unsalted butter on medium heat and add the onion and 2 tsp. of black pepper. Toss until onions are tender and mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add 1/2 a cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and stir. Bring to a simmer. Add the drained noodles and remaining TB of butter to the cast iron pan and toss with tongs to coat the noodles with moisture.

Reduce heat to low and add 1/2 cup of the shaved parmesan cheese, tossing with tongs to melt. Add 1/4 cup of water if the noodles seem dry or sticky. You want the pasta water and cheese to coat the noodles and be smooth.

Add remaining cheese and toss to melt. To me, this part resembles the sticky marshmallow texture when you make rice krispy treats on the stove. Toss with extra black pepper and a pinch of salt if desired.

Serve immediately with crushed red chili flakes, extra shaved parmesan or romano cheese, and basil, if desired.

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pesto parmesan prosciutto pastry twists.

this recipe post is brought to you by the letter P!

and only 5 ingredients!

(^^^ real glad elmo's episode in that link above was about the potty..haha. i was just going to say how apparently so many great things start with the letter P. i suppose the potty is pretty great in its own special way, too.)

also: peter just asked if what's in that cup was melted butter for dipping..........🙈

oh the things you don't really notice about a photo until the last second.

it was a very bright BEER. i do not dip my pastries in melted butter, and i don't really recommend that to others. but that's your prerogative. [<< ooo, P word]

these twists are inspired by a delicious ham and pesto treat that my mom's friend makes around the holidays. i'd been wanting to twist something up into puff pastry so this seemed ideal! i made these right after christmas and they stayed moist and delicious in a container until new year's eve!

and the eaters of these puffy twists were delighted! it's great when something so enjoyable to everyone is so super easy to make. grrrreat successsss.

just unfold your puff pastry sheets, brush with olive oil, spread pesto, add prosciutto, sprinkle parmesan, twist, and bake!

they come out so puffy and perfectly savory and satisfying. i even cut them in half again after baking, so you can stretch this recipe quite a way and get about 24 little twists.

the puff pastry is soo buttery and delicious...you don't even need a side of melted butter for dipping!! 😉

(please refer to the melted butter mix-up above if you missed that tidbit.)

it was a little bit tough to slice through the prosciutto without it wiggling around. gently press the slice of prosciutto down so it stays in place. a serrated knife actually helped a bit.

then twist baby twist.

and sprinkle with more parmesan cheeeez!

one of the greatest things in life are those cheese crusters that occur on sides of grilled cheese sandwiches, nachos, and these twists!

i purposely put cheese on the edges of all those items so it will crisp up into its own little crunchy cheesy side snack.

back in my starbucks days, we'd put the stray crumbles of cheddar cheese that fell off the frozen breakfast sandwiches onto parchment and heat em in the oven for a crispy cheese cruster morsel of delight. i think that era of cheese pilfering is the reason i call those, "cheese crusters...." who said that? what's a cruster? whitney was that you? nicole??

anyhow, y'all should try making these! and you can use this pesto recipe while you're at it!😉

PHENOMENAL! pip pip!

Pesto Parmesan Prosciutto Puff Pastry Twists

Makes 8 - 12 Twists

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 thawed puff pastry sheets (I use Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 - 2 TB olive oil, for brushing
  • 2/3 cup fresh pesto
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 - 8 thin slices of prosciutto

Instructions-

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lay the thawed puff pastry sheets (unfolded) flat on parchment paper on top of a large cutting board. Lightly brush the surface of the pastry sheets with olive oil. Spread a thin layer of pesto across the sheets, staying about 1/4 inch away from the edges. Lay the prosciutto slices on top. Sprinkle with a handful of parmesan cheese. 

Make sure the parchment and pastry sheets are on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife or pizza cutter, slice the sheet into 4 to 6 equal strips. Slicing into 6 strips per sheet makes a few more twists, and the size is a little better. I preferred the twists in thinner slices.

Holding both ends of the strip in each hand, begin twisting in opposite directions. Keep twisting until the pesto and prosciutto is all twisted up inside the pastry. Fold over the very ends of the twist and press firmly just to keep it somewhat enclosed.

Place all twists on the parchment paper on a baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. 

Bake for about 13 minutes for puffy, tender twists (as seen in these photos). Bake a few minutes longer if you'd like them a bit crunchier.

 

 

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