BBQing is definitely one of my favorite ways of cooking in the summer BUT I can always make an exception for a hearty plate of pasta. Especially on these rainy days we keep having. On a recent rainy evening I was craving pasta but couldn’t decide between recreating the Cacio e Pepe I learned during my recent cooking class with a chef from Rome or something fresh and summery. What do I do when I can’t make a decision? Make two kinds of pasta of course. And thank goodness because they were both DELICIOUS. First up grab the recipe for Mushroom Cacio e Pepe.
Ingredients for Mushroom Cacio e Pepe
2 cups of cremini or shiitake mushrooms (or both, whatever your preference)
1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
1 cup freshly grated parmesan reggiano
2 tablespoons of black peppercorns (grounded with a mortar and pestle)
2-3 cups fusilli pasta
How to make Mushroom Cacio e Pepe
Cook fusilli pasta according to instructions. In the meantime sauté mushrooms in olive oil then set aside. When the pasta is ready, keep 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Now you are ready to assemble the dish. Make sure to have the pepper, cheese and mushrooms nearby as it comes together pretty quickly. Heat up a sauce pan and start by adding the ground peppercorns. Next add the cooked pasta and stir to coat it with pepper.
Start adding handfuls of both kinds of cheese and continuously stir the pasta. Repeat this until you have used all of the cheese. It should start to form a cheese sauce YUM! The sauce could be a smooth consistency, if it gets clunky, add pasta water or olive oil and continue to stir.
It is ready to serve once all of the cheese has melted into a sauce. Plate the pasta, top with sautéed mushrooms and sprinkle with more fresh cheese. Enjoy this one immediately. Next up, a fresh summery favorite: