Saturday, July 25, 2015

Straight Up Tasty - Cookbook Review + Recipe

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.
The Recipe:
Cacio e Pepe
Kosher salt
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


  1. That pasta dish does sound so tasty. Yum. Maybe not on my eating plan right now, but perhaps one day. We've watched Adam's TV show a few times. Enjoyed it. This sounds like a good cookbook - but I'm not making kimchee either. LOL

  2. What is this Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwich Dumplings? That sounds DELICIOUS! I will find the recipe and make someone that cooks make it for me! Haha!
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  3. I like simple pasta dishes and this one looks great as a standalone or as a side. We're grilling pizza tonight!

  4. It sounds fabulous! Thank you for sharing it.

  5. I love looking at cookbooks, but alas, don't use them.I get new ideas from the TV and from the web :( Glad you are enjoying it.

  6. I'll be looking out for this one. Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

  7. I normally like more sauce but it could be a good one, would just have to try. :)

  8. The pasta dish sounds great! I have to go to Netfgalley now and check out Pretending To Dance, another book in my Netgalley pile:) Thanks again for joining the Storm Rising tour. Have a great week!

  9. Hmmm, his name sounds familiar but seeing his photo doesn't ring a bell. Your bookcase must be groaning from your vast collection of cookbooks.

  10. This sounds like a great weeknight dinner.

  11. With the scrapbook style, this one looks like a fun read in addition to having good recipes!

  12. I saw that recipe and marked it to make. I've had it before but his is slightly different. It's a fun book! Your review is great.