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Cacio e Pepe Croutons

Cacio e Pepe Croutons


• Kosher salt
• 6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
• 2 Tbsp. unsalted Butter, cubed, divided
• 1 tsp. freshly cracked Black Pepper
• 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano
• 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
• ½ cup of chopped Pancetta
• ⅓ cup of halved Cherry Tomatoes
• ⅓ cup of minced Garlic
• ¼ cup of chopped Basil
• ¼ cup of Olive Oil

• Rustic Italian, 3 cups day-old bread cubes (about 1 inch)
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons olive oil


• Mix the cheese, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl; set aside.
• Cut the bread into roughly 1- inch cubes.
• Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.
• Add the bread cubes, toss to coat with the oil, and arrange in a single layer.
• Toast the bread, tossing every minute or so, until the cubes are golden-brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.
• Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl.
• Immediately sprinkle with the cheese and pepper mixture and toss to combine. Serve immediately or let cool completely.

• Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot.
• Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender.
• Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
• Meanwhile, cook the chopped pancetta on a large heavy skillet over medium heat until browned to how you want it.
• Take out the panchetta but leave the oil in the pan.
• Then, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in the same heavy skillet over medium heat.
• Add pepper and minced garilc and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 2 minutes.
• Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer.
• Add pasta and remaining butter.
• Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted.
• Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.)
• Add pancetta back in, and chopped parsley and chopped basil. Transfer pasta to warm bowls, top with cooled down croutons, parsley on the side and serve.

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