By Joe Sasto | Illustrations by Zoe Van Dijk

"With cacio e pepe, people just think it is pepper and cheese and pasta water, but the toasting of the pepper in the dry pan is the most important part of the recipe," says Chef Sasto.

"Toasting the pepper until it just starts to get fragrant, that's when you know to add your stock and get your sauce going. If you skip the toasting step, you will never be able to taste what the peppercorns really taste like."

 

Corn Cavatelli Cacio E Pepe

The beauty of the corn shines through in this simple take on a Roman classic.

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves or Makes: 16

Ingredients:

Cavatelli Dough:

1360 g flour
25 g corn husk powder
20 g pepper
5 g La Baleine salt
500 g ricotta cheese
250 mL whole milk
200 mL water
1 whole egg

Corn Stock:

5 cobs, kernels removed
800 g water

Corn Pudding:

225 g butter
700 g white corn kernels
2 g  xanthan gum
200 g mascarpone cheese

Assembly:

2 g pepper
90 g butter
90 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
30 g grated Pecorino cheese
15 g corn powder
15 g chive blossoms

Method of Production:

  1. Cavatelli Dough: Place flour on work surface; mix in corn husk powder, pepper and salt. Create well in the center of flour mixture; add cheese, milk, water, and egg to well; mix slowly into flour mixture.

  2. Knead dough for about 30 minutes or until smooth. Cover and let stand for 2 hours.

  3. Corn Stock: Package corn cobs and water in Cryovac; steam at 215˚F for 15 minutes. Remove from steamer; let steep at room temperature for 2 hours. Refrigerate until cooled. Strain through a chinois, then linen; refrigerate stock until needed.

  4. Corn Pudding: In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add corn kernels; increase heat to high. Cook quickly for no longer than 5 minutes, stirring constantly (do not allow corn or butter to color).

  5. Immediately transfer to a blender; blend on high speed until smooth. Sprinkle in XG and add mascarpone. Strain through the chinois into a bowl sitting in a larger bowl in ice bath, stirring to cool quickly. Refrigerate until chilled completely.

  6. Assembly: Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water.

  7. Meanwhile, toast pepper in a large skillet just until fragrant. Add corn stock, cooked pasta and a little bit of pasta cooking water. Add corn pudding and butter, stirring until creamy. Remove from heat; add Parmesan and Pecorino cheese.

  8. Spoon onto serving dishes; garnish with corn powder and chive blossoms.

 

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