Simply Good Flavors

I am reposting this (from my One Pot Spaghetti and Sausage) to add my thoughts on the subject of simplicity.

Sit back…this is a long one.


Hear me out? It’s worth it

You see, my daughter ask…when getting some of last spaghetti I made “where’s the sauce?”. And I was expecting that. My fault, I raised them thinking spaghetti or pasta needed to be covered or smothered in sauce. Yet, I firmly believe (still have to work on them) that good ingredients, even if very few, can make for a damn delicious dish.

By the way, in this last spaghetti I did use the best homemade stewed tomatoes from my “other” daughter’s garden. Between that, onions, peppers, garlic, Italian sausage, my Italian grocer’s parmesan cheese, evoo and seasonings…”i” didn’t think it needed anything else. I enjoyed the flavors very much. Maybe some photos will help get my point across?

Bucatini has been a favorite of mine from the beginning, and that is among many! But how can one have a favorite among all the delicious, delectable and lovely varieties available? Impossible.
Just throwing that out there.

A LONG POST ON PASTAS, SAUCES & DELICIOUS MADNESS ~ compelled by my need to point out how/why my one pot spaghetti w/sausage did not use, want, or need – what many are accustomed to, w/thick or abundant quantity of delicious sauce. Oh we all love many sauces, like bolognese, rich marinara or vodka sauce, etc.. (list of some Italian sauces) Sauces in Italian cuisine include:
Agliata – a garlic sauce in Italian cuisine
Arrabbiata sauce
Bagna càuda
Bolognese sauce
Checca sauce
Fra diavolo sauce
Marinara sauce
Neapolitan sauce

Just for the fun of it (let me get real) “just for the love of it” ♡

btw, before I forget, check out this link ♡

Among BLESSINGS here –
In Mesa Arizona , on Brown RD, near Falcon Field or is it McKellips (?) I know my way there with my eyes closed.

I still love the QUEEN CREEK OLIVE MILL in Queen Creek Arizona ♥ They have items, awesome items, that can’t be found anywhere else, DELICIOUS stuff.
Now #Italian? → this Italian Grocer DOLCE VITA ITALIAN GROCER!
And it has an Italian Ice cream shop connected! #Gelato! …..
#justsayin 😀

This is about FLAVOR, some good ingredients,
“rightfully” standing up & out on the their own; when enjoying flavors used & not covered up &/or smothered w/others.

Tonnarelli a Cacio e Pepe

{{{ This wasn’t just the best pasta of the year. It’s some of the best pasta we’ve ever encountered—Italy included. – }}}

This classic pasta only has a few ingredients, but the rich cheese, butter, and olive oil (along with a splash of pasta cooking liquid) merge into a surprisingly silky, flavor-packed sauce.

Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds dried tonnarelli or spaghetti alla chitarra
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano (about 6 ounces), plus more for serving
1/2 cup finely grated Grana Padano (about 1 ounce)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, filling pot slightly less than normal. (This increases the amount of starch leached from the pasta as it boils.)
Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta, transferring 6 cups pasta cooking liquid to a medium saucepan; keep warm. Wipe out pasta pot.
Cook oil, pepper, and butter in pasta pot over high heat, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 3–4 minutes. Add pasta and 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid and cook over high heat, stirring vigorously to help draw starch from pasta, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and add 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Add 3 cups Pecorino Romano in large handfuls, stirring and tossing vigorously with tongs, until very creamy. Stir in Grana Padano, adding more pasta cooking liquid if pasta is dry. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately with more Pecorino Romano on the side.

Pasta of the Year: Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe!
– at Felix, Los Angeles

Note: pastas at Felix were next-level, chef Evan Funke is a dough whisperer
” Evan Funke isn’t just making the best pasta of the year, he’s making some of the best pastas I’ve ever encountered—Italy included. He understands shapes, and he understands how certain sauces best complement the loops, spirals, and strands of any given pasta. I expect that from chefs these days. He knows how to create a sauce that binds and emulsifies with a noodle so that the two become a single eating experience—again, not rare to find in many great pasta dishes these days. What makes Funke’s pasta stand out for me and my colleague and fellow restaurant critic at the magazine, Julia Kramer, is its ethereal quality. “Delicate” and “airy” were two words I scribbled down in my notebook after dinner. There’s no other way to explain how in the world I could eat three bowls of his pasta and be hungry for more, which is exactly what happened on my first visit.

Funke also understands that fine line between remaining faithful to classic Italian preparations and adding his own twist to them. Too often chefs think that ten-ingredient or “creative” pastas are the way to go, when in fact, the classics are, well, classics for a reason. Take my favorite of Funke’s pastas: tonnarelli (a fresh, square spaghetti), black pepper, and pecorino Romano. It’s a study in simplicity and textures, a cheesy and fiery grown-up version of the pasta I loved as a kid. Good cacio e pepe is not rare, but this one leaves you scratching your head: How the hell can three ingredients add up to that amount of depth and nuance? But it’s not just the cacio e pepe; every one of the ten or so nightly pastas—rigatoni all’amatriciana, busiati with pesto trapanese, or orecchiette with sausage and broccoli, for example—are probably going to be better than any version you ever had. And I’m including the ones you had on your honeymoon in Rome or the one at that famous chef’s spot in New York.
If I do ever fall back into a pasta malaise again, I’ll know why: because every pasta going forward will be measured against the ones at Felix. But I’ll keep twirling my fork, one pasta at a time.”


Cacio e Pepe / cacio-e-pepe
– from Bon Appétit

Literally “cheese and pepper”, this minimalist cacio e pepe recipe is like a stripped-down mac and cheese.


Kosher salt
6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino


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, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
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.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.
* Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen, Photos by Tom Schierlitz

How To Cook Authentic Italian Pomodoro Sauce
– Culture Vulture

So, some…like my daughter ‘might’ remain stuck in their ways; my fault…raising her only knowing pasta or gnoochi smothered in the typical spaghetti sauce. Hey, I was young! We roll with what we know.

Some amusement, from comments under posts above –

Obviously I am amused by comments, so I feel compelled to insert a couple/few here. Besides, all is fair in love & food (culture). I have to admit I understand both sides.

footnote –

to be fair, among comments;

(ME – although

and I LOVE/ADORE italian/ everything ITALIAN ~ authentic; yet at times I also feel like throwing caution to the wind. “Make it Work”)


There is NO butter in Cacio e Pepe! In Rome, they never use Grana Padano or Parmesan, just Pecorino. Otherwise the technique is very good. -Chuck Loveyork, PA

Keep your pants on (and don’t misquote things)! The “literally ‘cheese and pepper'” is referring to the name, ‘cacio e pepe,’ which literally translates to ‘cheese and pepper’. It’s perfectly legal to add butter and if you have a problem with that take it up with the Italians, not the author.


5 out of 5

Why butter? Why not? It allows for the pepper oils to be far better distributed. It’s certainly an improvement over the bare bones “purist,” notion. (ME: in their humble opinion)


This pains me….. it says “literally cheese and pepper” but includes butter.. Why BA?!?! Anything besides water, pasta water, pasta, parmiggiano/pecorino and pepper is not cacio e pepe…

(ME: oh the crimes!)

Onto more PERFECT examples of less is more … with awe inspiring ingredients.

Watch Recipes from the BA Test Kitchen | Ligurian Pesto with Adam Rapoport | Bon Appétit Video | CNE


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