Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Single Food

Well, that was quite an...(checks calendar)...eight months. I do NOT know how that happened. I cannot even count the number of times we've made a lovely meal, taken pictures, I've written a post in my head and then...never did anything about it. But life has settled somewhat, for now anyways, and I've missed having a space to talk about our cooking (RIP SweetSpot). I daren't commit to anything resembling a schedule, but I'd like to think you can expect to see recipes, reviews of cookbooks and other food related books, and other things that I find interesting in the world of food.

When I was a single gal, lo those years ago, many a bad night would finish with the punchline, "and then I ate an entire box of macaroni and cheese". Almost 5 years later, I'll still make macaroni and cheese, but it's usually of the homemade baked variety for big BBQs and comfort dinners. Now, it doesn't happen very often, but I am occasionally left with a night at home with no-one to feed but myself. And I'll admit, my first thought is always to have a box of Kraft Dinner. I often talk myself out of it though, as I really try to avoid processed food as much as possible, and that cheese powder is almost certainly the definition of processed food. To get to the new punchline, it was in making dinner for D and I last week that I discovered my new single girl food. It's just as easy as a box of KD but contains far less crap, and I can assure you is just as delicious.

Behold: Cacio e Pepe.

The only unusual thing you need is Pecorino Romano, and if they have it at my IGA, I can promise you can find it almost anywhere. Scheffler's Deli at the St. Lawrence Market has great Pecorino Romano, and it's cheaper than the piece I buy at the store. Once you've bought a piece, it will last for several meals, and since it's a hard cheese you have a little more breathing room when it comes to using it. The only part that's any work is grating the cheese and that takes about 30 seconds, depending on your grating device (note to self: buy new box grater with smaller holes).

The thing I particularly like about this recipe is that it's super easy to cut down to a smaller portion. I'm a recipe follower to the enth degree and I find it very difficult to improvise around these types of thing. It's always hard to know how to cut down a recipe involving a sauce, especially. This though, you basically cut down by 6ths or 8ths, depending on your appetite, and it's easy peasy.

To make it even easier, I would recommend:
-use spaghetti if you have it, but any long and thin pasta will do (I particularly like it with fettuccine)
-putting out your measuring cup for the pasta water when you put the pasta in, as I am forever forgetting to scoop out some water before I drain my pasta
-grating more cheese than you think you need and leaving out your cheese and grating equipment just in case you need more
-using less pepper than you think you need, as it can quickly become overwhelming - better to need more than have a dish ruined
-if you forget the butter, it's no big thing

But I'm curious, what's your single food?