To fill the void left by Tax Day, we asked Maialino chef Nick Anderer for a crowd-pleasing recipe that won’t break the bank. He came back with two options — breakfast and dinner — that highlight the same simple ingredients: cacio e pepe (known to Uncle Sam as cheese and pepper).
Tonnarelli a Cacio e Pepe
1 lb. spaghettini (De Cecco brand suggested)
1 tsp. salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. grated pecorino cheese, plus more to taste (Fulvi pecorino romano from Murrays’ Cheese suggested)
1. Bring salted water to a boil and drop in spaghettini. (If you’re using De Cecco, ignore box instructions and cook for six and a half to seven minutes.)
2. While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
3. Crack pepper into the oil to suit your palate. Anderer suggests roughly six or seven grinds per 4-ounce serving of pasta (a 1-pound bag would require four times that amount).
4. Once the cracked pepper begins to sizzle, add a small ladle of pasta water to the pan and remove from direct flame.
5. When pasta is cooked, strain, keeping a cup of pasta water in reserve.
6. Toss drained pasta in the pan and gradually mix in grated pecorino.
7. If pasta gets too sticky, slowly add pasta water to loosen the sauce.
Soft Scrambled Eggs Cacio e Pepe
10 farm fresh eggs
½ c. whole milk
1 c. grated pecorino, plus more to taste
2 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 tbsp. butter
Salt to taste
Crusty Italian bread
1. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet (9 to 10 inches in diameter) over medium heat.
2. Whisk together eggs and milk; pour into the skillet.
3. Stir continuously for four to five minutes with a heat-resistant rubber spatula until the eggs begin to lightly scramble.
4. Stir in the pecorino, black pepper, and salt.
5. Transfer eggs to a platter before they cook to a hard scramble. The final product should be creamy and loose.
6. Sprinkle more pecorino over the top and serve with crusty bread.
Maialino, 2 Lexington Avenue, at 21st Street (212-777-2410 or maialinonyc.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Mailalino
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