COVID Comfort Food: Fancy Cacio e Pepe

I have struggled with gastro issues since I was a child, but was officially diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in 2013, after a colonoscopy. Since then, along with my blood type in mind, I try to limit eating things that will flare my IBS. Pasta happens to be a major stressor for my colon, which I absolutely hate, because Italian cuisine is hands down top 5 foods that I love to eat!

But COVID. 👀👅

I wanted something comforting and filling to eat and I thought of a fave of mine, Cacio e Pepe, which is literally just cheese and cracked black pepper. When I cook, I tend to do "too much" and fancy things up a bit more than what is called for. The recipe below is a more "fancier" version of Cacio e Pepe, by yours truly. Enjoy!
Ingredients:
  • Cacio e Pepe usually calls for spaghetti pasta, but I wanted a thicker pasta, so I used Whole Grain Rigatoni
  • Black Peppercorn, cracked
  • Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 8 Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 Handful of Spinach, chopped
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Ghee or an unsalted butter
  • Truffle Oil
Instructions:
  • Bring 1 pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and follow cooking instructions until tender.
  • In a separate pan, heat your your ghee (or butter). Sauté your mushrooms, garlic and season with cracked peppercorn. Once sauteed, toss in spinach, until slightly wilted. I usually turn the stove eye off, to not overcook the spinach.
  • Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain the pot, reserving only about 2 tbsp of pasta water.
  • Add your cooked vegetables, parmesan cheese and stir until cheese has melted.
  • Transfer to a serving dish, add cracked peppercorn and Truffle Oil drizzle.
  • Ejoy!