It is among the most basic, simplest pastas there is, and suddenly trendy to boot. Why? Because when made right, it is incredible.
- 1 ½ cups finely grated pecorino Romano, plus more for dusting completed dish
- 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, plus more for finishing the dish
- ¾ pound tonnarelli or other long pasta like linguine or spaghetti
- Good olive oil
- Put a pot of salted water on to boil. In a large bowl, combine the cheeses and black pepper; mash with just enough cold water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste evenly in the bowl.
- Once the water is boiling, add the pasta. The second before it is perfectly cooked (taste it frequently once it begins to soften), use tongs to transfer the pasta into a skillet, put some of the pasta water there and slowly add the cheese while flip mixing the pasta to create your sauce that sticks. You have to do this for a good 1-2 minutestir vigorously to coat the pasta, adding a teaspoon or two of olive oil and a bit of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce if necessary. The sauce should cling to the pasta and be creamy but not watery.
- Plate and dust each dish with additional pecorino and pepper. Serve immediately.
- 3 to 4 pounds fresh vegetables, prepared
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Fresh herbs, if desired
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Chop the vegetables or roast them whole. The larger the pieces, the longer it will take to roast. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, fresh herbs, and generously season with salt and pepper.
- Place on a prepared baking sheet, cast iron pan, or a roasting pan.
- Keep in mind that the harder the vegetable and larger the size, the longer it will take to roast. Whole beets can take an hour or more, while asparagus will roast up in about 10 minutes.
- Test for doneness by piercing the vegetable with a knife.
- Serve the roasted vegetables with toasted nuts, bread crumbs, or grated cheese on top.
Roasted Vegetable Variations:
- Slow-Roasted Tomatoes: Quarter 3 to 4 pounds ripe tomatoes brushed with olive oil, 2 teaspoons sugar, and generously seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast the tomatoes cut side up on a large baking sheet. Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are beginning to brown and maintain their shape when moved. Cool. Make into homemade tomato sauce by chopping the tomatoes and heating in a saucepan with chicken stock, fresh herbs, and just a bit of fresh cream.
- Roasted Garlic: Peel the paper exterior off of garlic heads. Set the garlic heads on top of aluminum foil square. Brush the garlic head with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and top with any desired fresh herbs. Fold the sides up crimping tightly. Place the packet on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Cook’s Note: It is best to use the roasted garlic while still warm.
Recipe Courtesy of Kelsey Nixon
Holiday Glazed Ham:
- 15 dried apricots
- 1 egg white (beaten)
- 5 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 5 tbsp. pineapple/apricot jam
- 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
- 1-8 lb. half ham shank (cooked)
- 1 bunch red and green grapes
- ¼ cup washed raw sugar
- Combine mustard, jam and brown sugar to make a glaze.
- Cut ½ inch deep slits on ham, and score with diamond pattern.
- Roast at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, then cover ham with glaze and cook for another 30 minutes. Brush glaze over ham every 10 minutes while cooking.
Garnish: For garnish, dip fruits in egg white then roll in sugar, let dry. Use a toothpick to keep in place.