Perfectly Pasta

What glorious fun, to make your own pasta!

As simple as sugar cookies (but far more fun), making your own pasta is a great way to turn dinner at home into an Evening Event! You will, unfortunately, need a pasta machine, but the good news is that if you buy one, your popularity amongst friends and co-workers will increase exponentially as they all want to get in on the fun.

Simple pasta dough recipes abound, but the basic gist is this: mix flour and egg together to form a dry, yet flexible dough. Roll through the machine at a fairly wide setting. Roll thinner. Roll thinner. And thinner yet! If you want to get really exciting, don’t cut the dough as you keep rolling it. This will leave you with an exceptionally long amount of pasta, requiring more and more hands and therefore more participation.

Eventually, you settle on a good thickness and run the pasta through the cutter, making linguine or spaghetti or whatever your heart desires. Let dry for a bit, if you like. Then throw into a pot of bolling water and cook until al dente (about three or four minutes).

Serve with your favorite tomato sauce, a good bottle of wine, and several hungry friends.

Cacio e Pepe

I can’t pretend that I have the time, energy, financial resources, or stomach capacity to try every dish in a restaurant. But sometimes, one dish is enough.

Cacio e Pepe, located in the East Village in New York City, bills itself as having “Creative Roman Cuisine.” The dish I had, Tonnarelli cacio e pepe was definitely that– Italian, but beyond Italian.

The perfectly al dente pasta was brought to the table in a huge, hollowed-out round of pecorino romano cheese. In the hollow, our server mixed and turned the pasta (already wonderfully coated in a light cream sauce), scooping up the romano as he did it.

The pasta, placed onto our plates in a neat ball, was delicious– light, creamy, and with a thorough (yet not overpowering) cheese taste. Lest it be a pleasant yet unremarkable dish, the pasta had been seasoned generously with pepper. Fantastic.

Overall: YYYYY (out of five)
Prices: NYC-cheap, which is to say that the dish was around $12 bucks. Cheapest wine (but still excellent) was $9/glass
Atmosphere: Cozy yet formal.
Dress code: It’s New York– wear whatever you want. But business casual would be appropriate.
Great place to go for… New Year’s Eve.

Cacio e Pepe
http://www.cacioepepe.com/
182 Second Avenue
NY, NY 10003
212-505-5931

New menus daily.