Monday, January 10, 2011

Meatless Monday: Pepato Farfale Pasta

It's my first meatless Monday post! I promise to fill you in on details behind this movement, but for now, let's talk about the food.

I like pepper. A lot. I like pepper in all its forms, but I especially like black pepper. As far as I'm concerned,  it's one of the spices I absolutely can't live without. I heavily pepper my scrambled eggs for breakfast, I put it in dipping olive oil, I've even made black pepper vodka! So imagine my delight when I came across a pecorino pepato while browsing the cheese aisle in Whole Check Foods. It's an intensely sharp and salty sheep's milk cheese with whole back peppercorns in it. Initially, I was just looking for cheese to eat with a crusty baguette, but when I saw that, I just knew I had to use it in the pasta dish I was planning to make.

1/2 cup pecorino pepato, shredded
1 box farfale (bowtie) pasta
1 jar 4 cheese pasta sauce (don't judge me, I was in a rush)
Fresh cracked black pepper
Fresh basil leaves

This was super easy and only took about half an hour to make from start to finish.

In a large pot, bring water with salt and olive oil to a boil. Add pasta and cook about 8 minutes or until a little firmer than al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, simmer sauce with 1/4 cup of cheese and a healthy dose of black pepper. When sauce begins to bubble, stir in pasta, and let simmer another 2 to 3 minutes. Shred another 1/4 cup of cheese over pasta and sauce. Serve in a bowl and stir in fresh basil leaves.

You may have noticed that there was no salt added to this dish, and with good reason. The pecorino is very salty on its own, and jarred pasta sauces often serve up a whopping amount of sodium. In lieu of this fact, next time, I'm going to actually my own percorino pasta sauce. I've never made my own pasta sauce, but I know it will totally be worth it, and I'll be sure to share when I do.

Oh and in case you were wondering, it was really really good, and completely meat free.

(Eat, Read, Rant!) NO MEAT!

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