The great thing about cacio e pepe – or pasta with cheese and pepper – is that you really don’t need a recipe. It is, however, supremely delicious, comforting and easy. Those three adjectives are perfect for me this week, since I am in a study period for finals and don’t think I could handle anything a whole lot more difficult than boiling water and combining a few ingredients at the moment. The cured egg yolk was a lovely addition to this dish. For almost zero extra effort, it added a layer of creamy, yolk-y goodness that really made this special.
When I saw the video for these salt cured egg yolks at Huffington Post – Food, I knew immediately I was going to have to give it a try. Commerce Restaurant’s chef/owner Harold Moore’s brilliant idea of curing an egg yolk in a salt/sugar mixture to use as a garnish really struck a chord with me due to my unwavering love for all things egg-y.
Pasta Cacio e Pepe with Salt Cured Egg Yolk
Pasta Cacio e Pepe:
8 oz. dried egg pasta (I used fettuccine)
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs. Brummel & Brown
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tbs. freshly cracked black pepper
2 salt cured egg yolks, grated (see below)
In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil, cook pasta al dente, according to package instructions. [Note: To make this dish especially weeknight and/or final exam study time friendly, use a wide bottomed p0t. When you drain the pasta, simply wipe down the pan and place it back on the stove to complete the remaining steps.]
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add Brummel & Brown and cook until melted. Add pasta back to the pan.
Add freshly cracked black pepper, cheese, and grated salt-cured egg yolk. Mix together with tongs to coat well with olive oil mixture.
Salt Cured Egg Yolks:
Adapted from Huffington Post – Harold Moore
Half dozen eggs
3 cups sugar
2 cups kosher salt
Carefully separate egg whites from egg yolks. Reserve whites for another purpose.
Mix together salt and sugar. Place about 3/4 of salt-sugar mixture into an airtight container. Make six small indentations with the back of a spoon. Carefully transfer egg yolks into the indentations.
[Note: You will probably lose a few yolks in the process. Start out with about 25% more eggs than you want final cured yolks.]
Carefully cover yolks with the remaining 1/4 of the salt-sugar mixture. Transfer to refrigerator. Let cure about one month, checking weekly, until yolks are hard and cured.