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Pasta Cacio e Pepe with Salt Cured Egg Yolk

28 Apr

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)

Kosher salt

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.

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