Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Mario Batali makes some great tasting food. I’ve followed this Cacio e Pepe recipe before & it was delicious. It incorporates 2 things I love, Cheese & Black Pepper. This time, I added 5 more ingredients to the recipe just because I wanted to. They are not necessary, but boy was the pasta mmmm mmmm good when it was done. This is my interpretation of Cacio e Pepe mixed in with everything else I love. Come on, who doesn’t love more cheese & BACON!!! Oh yeah, and all the mushrooms add a delightfully earthy taste to the pasta.

Cacio e Pepeadapted from Mario Batali

1 pound spaghettii
1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
5 cloves garlic (minced)
2 bags of Enoki Mushroom (cut ends off & wash)
1 box of Beech Mushroom (cut ends off & wash)
3 Slices Muenster Cheese
5 Slices of Bacon
2 Plum Tomatoes (thinly sliced)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Boil a pot of water to cook your pasta. Follow instructions on the box to make al dente pasta. Reserve one cup pasta water. Drain the rest in a colander & rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Heat up a little olive oil into a large frying pan. On medium heat, add garlic & cook it down for a minute. Then add Enoki & beech mushrooms & sprinkle with sea salt to season. Cook until they are all soft.

Add the butter & pepper. Evenly mix until butter is melted.
Add your pasta & mix. Then add your cheeses. The Muenster gets a little clumpy, so try to break them apart with your spoon. If the pasta is a little dry, you can add a little of the pasta water you had saved earlier.

In a separate frying pan, cook your bacon until they are cripsy. Drain all oils & blot excess on a paper towel. When it is cool to the touch, rough chop them.

Arrange plum tomatoes on top of pasta. Cover pan for 2 minutes to steam the tomatoes.

Finally, sprinkle bacon on top, and you are all set.



Walnut Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates Recipe

The Bro, SIL, Hubby & I had brunch at Olea in Brooklyn, NY awhile back. We had ordered the Almond Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates from the menu & they were delicious. They were a little sweet, a little salty & oh so simple to make. I’ve decided to re-create this at home. Since I didn’t have any almonds, I substituted with walnuts. I’ve also used pecans before & they all work similarly well together. This is also Paleo, so you won’t feel so guilty eating them.

Walnut Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Datesadapted from Olea


This makes approximately 18 pieces.

Walnut (9 whole pieces, halved) – substitute with Pecans or Almonds. Almonds do not need to be halved.
Bacon (6 slices)
Whole Pitted Dates (18 pieces)
Toothpicks (9)

Take your dates & use a chopstick to open up the hole in the middle.
Slice the Walnuts in half & insert into the dates.
Put 6 slices on bacon in a frying pan & fry until it is no longer raw. Turn off heat. Remove bacon from pan & blot out excess oil with paper towel.
Roll date in bacon & cut off excess bacon with a knife. Insert toothpick to hold bacon in place. You can use one toothpick per 2 pieces. Each piece of bacon can make 3 pieces. Repeat with the rest of the dates.
Put all your bacon wrapped dates back into the hot frying pan & continue to fry until they are nice & crispy. Make sure to flip them to the other side to get all sides crispy.
Transfer the bacon onto a plate with a paper towel to remove excess oil.