It’s been a while, right? I can only apologise to the 3 of my IRL friends that might potentially read this post. Why don’t YOU try to work an unpaid internship for 6 months and try and commit to writing and running a groundbreaking food blog? I’m doing the best I can do.
Ok so to start off, let me introduce a new thing I want to start whereby I cook at home using cookbook recipes and then rate them for your viewing pleasure.
First up is a classic Italian pasta dish from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen. I could write a whole host of positive adjectives right now to describe Chrissy, but I won’t. Just know that I love her. Like, a lot.
*at this point I would like to apologise for the quality of the images you are about to see. People with good taste or an eye for Art Direction should look away now. I’m trying to get back into writing this blog because even though it might not seem that way right now, I really do love doing it. And the best way to get started again is to just POST SOMETHING. ANYTHING. So apologies.*
In this post I’m going to be making Chrissy’s Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe. This recipe is super simple, easy and great for if you’re having one of those days where you just can’t be bothered to make an effort.
All you need is:
12 ounces of dried spaghetti
1/4 pound (3/4 cup) of pancetta or bacon, finely diced
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 big cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of chilli pepper flakes
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (plus more for serving)
3 cups of baby arugula (or if you’re in the UK like I am, ROCKET. I didn’t actually use this much rocket in my own version because the friend I was cooking with is picky and annoying. Hi, Corrie!)
I have also made a slight alteration to this dish and added a reasonably-sized handful of fresh coriander, finely diced. This isn’t included in Chrissy’s original recipe though, so feel free to skip this step.
*After reviewing the pictures I have to insert into this post, I’ve come to the realisation that they are almost laughably uninformative and almost not worth using. But hey. Just know that I’m aware.*
This pasta dish begins the way all good pasta dishes do: salt and boil a large pan of water, and cook your pasta until al dente. Reserve a cup of the starchy pasta water to use later on in the recipe. Please excuse the plethora of unrelated, embarrassingly British-looking products scattered around the surface. And my novelty oven glove.
While that’s simmering away, use this time to prep your other ingredients. AKA chop up some shit, dice some shit and grate some shit. Like this! :
Once that’s done, it’s time to fry your bacon. I used bacon lardons for this.
PLEASE DO NOT do what I did and use a super lightweight saucepan instead of a frying pan because your frying pan is currently being washed in the dishwasher and you don’t like opening it while the cycling is running. I know, it’s dark and loud and scary in there but you just have to face your fears and fish it out. Otherwise you’ll end up suffering like I did and I don’t want that for you.
The saucepan was unfortunately the opposite of non-stick which meant I had to deal with some bullshit when I was frying the lardons. I have since really had a vendetta against this saucepan and I refuse to use it again. Ugh.
Anyway, once your bacon has been crisped, add the olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes and black pepper and just leave it to become fragrant (about 1 min, according to Chrissy).
Now, walk away for a few minutes and return to find your garlic is starting to burn thanks to your choice of pan – I’m not just bad at cooking, i swear). Add the coriander, lemon juice and throw in the spaghetti.
Once the spaghetti is in, toss it in the pan and promptly forget to take any pictures for your food blog until the meal has been plated because a) you’re a shitty person and b) cooking is stressful and the garlic is already kind of burnt, taking pictures for a blog is the last thing you need right now.
Now add the Parmigiano and toss, while adding that pasta water you reserved earlier a little bit at a time. Chrissy says this helps the cheese properly coat the pasta. I’m inclined to believe her.
Now throw in the rocket and allow it to wilt, around 1 minute. Serve in a nice white bowl while you watch the new episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, with lots of pepper, chilli flakes and cheese to taste.
The end result looked like this:
THE FINAL SEAL OF APPROVAL
This was super cheap, and all ingredients should definitely be stocked at your local supermarket.
The Ease Factor:
Easy as pie. Easy like a Sunday Morning. SO EASY. This is the kinda thing you’re going to want to cook if you’re trying to impress someone but you’re shit at cooking.
Would I Try It Again:
I would absolutely try this again. It was delicious despite the garlic mishap and I didn’t want it to end. I posted a video of the end product plated up on my Snapchat story and three separate people wanted to know what it was and how I got it. AND THAT’S GOTTA COUNT FOR SOMETHING, RIGHT??
Stay tuned for more recipe tests from Cravings. Also @Chrissy, wanna be best friends?