It’s a March Monday trifecta: meatless, noodles and Batali. Have been feeling a little under the weather since last night and with the return of the rain today nothing sounded better than a big bowl of pasta. I’d recently downloaded the Mario Batali Cooks! app for my ipad and decided to make some things from it. The Insalata Tricolore started the meal followed by this incredibly simple and fast [under 20 minutes] noodle dish – Bavette Cacio e Pepe, Thin Linguine with Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Pepper. It was, well, so good, proving the simplest ingredients, when combined right, can be wonderful. I noticed when looking at a lot of the recipes on this app that there are some measurements missing. Not sure why that is, if it was intentional or not. So for this recipe, I am providing the amount of cheese I used, which I think worked out well.
Bavette Cacio e Pepe
serves 4 as an entree
1 lb. bavette noodles, or any thin noodle
1/4 c plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1 ¼ c Pecorino Roman, grated
1 ¼ c Cacio di Roma, or any other hard sheep’s milk cheese
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 tbsp Kosher salt. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. While water is coming to a boil, grate cheeses and grind pepper. While pasta is cooking, heat oil and butter over low heat in a large saute pan until melted. Turn off heat. When pasta is al dente, turn heat back on under saute pan and add 2 ladles of pasta cooking water; bring to a boil. Add a handful of each cheese, allowing it to melt. Drain pasta, reserving a few cups of pasta water. Add noodles to saute pan and toss with pepper. Add 2 more ladles of pasta water. Add the rest of the cheeses, reserving just enough to sprinkle over the top when serving. Turn off the heat, allow cheese to melt on the pasta then toss well. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil adding more pasta water to make a nice creamy sauce. Serve with remaining cheese over the top and freshly ground pepper.