Straight Up Tasty: Meals, Memories, and Mouthfuls from My Travels by Adam Richman
Adam Richman is one of those foodie TV personalities that I recognize but could tell you literally nothing about other than for very vague reasons my thoughts are positive. I'm guessing I saw an interview or two of him on Food Network or something and liked him but I haven't actually seen his show. However, if this book is indicative of what he has to offer that will definitely change.
The book is almost scrapbook style. In addition to the pretty solid amount of recipes there's lots of pictures and little notes stuck in margins with notes, tips, favorite restaurant suggestions and just bits and pieces of other things. It's fun to flip through and several nearby restaurants that I haven't tired yet have made it on the list. The food is interesting without being over the top in difficulty or weirdness. There's a Twice-Baked Sweet Potato that literally made my mouth water with it's bourbon-y, fontina-y goodness, a pizza recipe that's on deck for next weekend, Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwich Dumplings is happening with all the green tomatoes in my garden suddenly ripen at the exact time, and the Kentucky Hot Brown Bluegrass Sandwich just sounds yummy! There's a few things I don't see myself making - suishi and kimchee for example - but those are few and far between and it's kind of fun to read how to make them.
Today's recipe is fairly simple but don't be fooled by it's simplicity! This is a tasty pasta dish.
Cacio e Pepe
1 lb dried spaghetti
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups finely grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons crushed black peppercorns
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat.
Add the pasta and cook until slightly al dente (it should be a bit chewy). Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta in a colander.
Over low heat, melt the butter in the same pasta pot. Add the pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, adn stir, adding more water if necessary. Add the cheese and pepper and stir until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce, about 5 minutes. Serve with additional cheese.
My changes and observations: Next time (and there will so be a next time) I won't grate the Romano up so fine. I used my microplaner and it was a little too fine and kept clumping together so I had a hard time getting it all to melt. I used black pepper right out of my pepper mill and while it may not have been 2 teaspoons it was a pretty good bit. Also, I wouldn't necessarily say this created a creamy sauce but more of a coating on each of the noodles so don't be expecting a really saucy pasta. I used fettuccine instead of spaghetti because that was what I had and I prefer it.
The Results: SO good! It was so simple that it could work as a side dish with a seasoned chicken or whatever but I actually made it for a weekend dinner when I didn't feel like cooking. It was flavorful and filling without feeling super heavy. The recipe says it makes 4 servings but they were some seriously giant serving. The Tornado who is quite possibly the worlds pickiest eater ate 3 plates of it and kept talking about how good it is. This will definitely be on the short list for quick meals or a yummy side dish.
I'm definitely looking forward to trying more from Adam Richman and I'm hoping to hunt down some of his Man V Food shows on the Travel Channel. If he's half as much fun on the shows as he is in the book they'll be a treat.
I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review