Cacio e Pepe : Cheese and Pepper Pasta

I spent the whole afternoon at home yesterday to be with the kids and lazy Friday afternoons (which are rare) only mean one thing : A great home-cooked dinner! I simply had no excuse not to cook at least a two-course meal. Since it was the first Friday of Lent, I wanted to observe abstinence and decided to do a Peas and Watercress soup,  Panfried Halibut and some Cacio e Pepe.

 If one pasta dish exemplifies the complexity of pan sauce precision, it's THIS. Cacio e Pepe (literally, cheese and pepper) is a minimalist recipe which calls for only a few ingredients and doesn't even include garlic. Sharing with you the recipe I used;

Kosher salt
6 ounces pasta of choice (in my case, spaghettini)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, divided
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano 
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino


1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5 quart pot.

2. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

3. Meanwhile, melt  butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.

4. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer.

5. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add the cheese, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted.

6. Remove pan from heat; add both cheeses, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.)

7. Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.

So simple yet so good....

Voila! Our Friday Dinner of Pan-friend Halibut with my lemon-shallot-capers sauce, Watercress siding and my Cacio e Pepe :) 

This pasta dish is always a sure winner so go ahead, try it this weekend!



Maruya : Classic Filipino Merienda

We have some balikbayans (my cousin-in-law and aunt) staying with us and my aunt actually hasn't been back here in the Philippines in 43 years! Can you imagine that? She has never gone home from New York since she left and so my husband and I have been going all out with touring her around and ofcourse stuffing her with FILIPINO food! After all, that's how we show hospitality right? Anyway, this afternoon I decided to make some MARUYA for our merienda since I have ample amount of saging na saba . It's the Filipino version of banana fritters and is a very popular afternoon snack.

Sharing with you this recipe which is easy and simple;


6 ripe saba (banana plantain)
1 egg
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup sifted flour
4 tbsp. sugar
oil, enough for frying

Procedure :

  1. Combine the dry ingredients (sifted flour and sugar.
  2. Mix the egg and milk together on a separate bowl.
  3. Cut the saba (banana plantains) lengthwise (into 2 or 3 pieces) or into thin pieces if you want to make the flat pancakes. Coat each piece with the dough.
  4. Fry in deep medium-high heat until golden brown. 
  5. Place in a plate lined with paper towel.
  6. Transfer to serving platter. 
  7. Serve hot
  8. *Option to sprinkle with sugar or powdered sugar.