When I saw Ina make this on Barefoot Contessa I knew I had to try it right away. The simplicity called to me and it did not disappoint. From start to finish dinner was on the table in less than 30 minutes and the flavors are restaurant quality for sure. This really is a perfect weeknight meal. I also think by doubling or tripling the recipe it would be an elegant and sophisticated dish to serve while entertaining.
The only change I made to the original recipe was the addition of cherry tomatoes. I felt they added a bit of freshness and acidity to the dish.
Pasta with Pecorino & Pepper
Adapted from: Barefoot Contessa
Yield: 2 servings
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
8 oz dried Italian egg pasta
1 c freshly grated aged Pecorino cheese (4 ounces), plus extra for serving
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
Place the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and crush them until you have a mixture of coarse and fine bits. Set aside.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Drain the pasta in a colander and return the pasta to the pot with pasta water still dripping. Working quickly, with the heat on very low, toss the pasta with Pecorino, the crushed peppercorns, cream, butter, parsley, tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt, tossing constantly. If the pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking water. Serve immediately with extra grated Pecorino for sprinkling.