For the recipe you’ll need water, cornstarch, Pecorino Romano cheese and freshly grated black pepper. While the pasta water was heating, I prepared the sauce. I used grated pecorino Romano cheese from a bag that I purchased at Costco, which may have contributed to a different outcome. You need 1-1/2 cups of water to which you whisk in two teaspoons of cornstarch. In the video it was explained that the cornstarch stabilizes the cheese thereby preventing clumping. When the mixture is smooth, six ounces of cheese are whisked in. When I viewed the video, you could tell the cheese was shredded using a box grater and seemed to absorb more of the liquid. This mixture is cooked over medium-to-medium low heat to melt and thicken the sauce. My sauce didn’t appear to thicken as I thought it should.
When the pasta is done, it’s drained and removed from the heat. The sauce, ground pepper and pasta is tossed together. At this point, it appeared I had too much liquid; I removed approximately 1/2 cup. The pasta needs to rest for two to three minutes to absorb the sauce. Although, I removed some liquid, the sauce in my opinion was still loose. Contrary to appearances, the Cacio e Pepe pasta was delicious! My husband and I added a few more grinds of pepper at the table, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. We went back for a bit more and by this time, the pasta had become creamier.
Note: I’m not a subscriber to 177 Milk Street, therefore, I watched the online video to obtain the ingredients and directions. However, when doing another online search today, I found a copy of the Milk Street Cacio e Pepe at the Star Tribune website. It says, “Note: Do not use pre-shredded cheese. Instead, grate it on the small holes of a box grater. Let the pasta cool for a minute or so before adding the pecorino mixture.” I’ll give this recipe another try.
The next recipe, Citrus Skillet Shrimp with Shallots and Jalapeños was in the “What to Make This Week” food column from The New York Times on Saturday, January 28th. Yasmin Fahr created the recipe using the principles of ceviche. For the recipe you’ll need a navel orange (zest and juice), limes (zest and juice), medium shallot, a jalapeño, ground cumin, kosher salt, fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems), shrimp, smoked paprika and olive oil.
I found fresh North Carolina shrimp at my local Wegmans for $15.99/lb. In lieu of cilantro I opted for parsley. The citrus and the rest of the produce I purchased at Delicious Orchards in Colts Neck, NJ.
The recipes says that it takes 15 minutes to prepare; it’s more like 30-40 minutes. The shrimp need to be peeled and deveined and the sauce prepared before you cook the shrimp. I decided to serve the shrimp over white rice and started that when I cleaned the shrimp. Once the prep work was done it was time to cook the shrimp. The shrimp cook approximately 3 minutes on one side until pink, then turned until pink again. Off heat the sauce is added and mixed with the shrimp.
Oh my, what a wonderful meal! The balance of citrus with the cumin and smoked paprika was perfect for our palates. This is a great weeknight meal and even for company.
I have a few more recipes that I’ll be trying later in the week, stay tuned!
Cacio e Pepe
From Milk Street Cooking School,
Note: Do not use pre-shredded cheese. Instead, grate it on the small holes of a box grater. Let the pasta cool for a minute or so before adding the pecorino mixture.
1-1/2 cups cold water
2 tsp. cornstarch
6 oz. pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (1 1/4 c.), plus extra to serve
12 oz. linguine or spaghetti
2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more to serve
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, whisk 1 1/2 cups cold water and cornstarch until smooth. Add the pecorino and stir until evenly moistened. Set the pan over medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until the cheese melts and the mixture comes to a gentle simmer and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Stir the pasta and salt into the boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve about ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta very well. Return the pasta to the pot and let cool for about 1 minute.
Pour the pecorino mixture over the pasta and toss with tongs until combined, then toss in the pepper. Let stand, tossing 2 or 3 times, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 3 minutes. The pasta should be creamy but not loose. If needed, toss in reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time to adjust the consistency. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve, passing more pecorino and pepper on the side.
Citrus Skillet Shrimp with Shallots and Jalapeños
By Yasmin Fahr
The New York Times, “What to Cook this Week”
January 28, 2023
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 15 minutes*
1 navel orange, zested and juiced (see Tip)
2 limes, zested and juiced (see Tip)
1 medium shallot, cut into thin rings
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ packed cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1½ pounds large peeled, deveined shrimp (tails on or off)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
Tip - To maximize the amount of citrus juice without using (or cleaning) a press, insert a fork into an orange or lime half, and move it up and down like a lever while squeezing the citrus. Pulp is welcome.
*Donna’s Note: I found it took approximately 30-40 minutes to prep this recipe. Fifteen minutes alone was spent cleaning the shrimp. You also need time to zest and juice citrus and cut shallot and jalapeño.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.