Arsip Tag: spaghetti

spaghetti pie with pecorino and black pepper – smitten kitchen

If you didn’t have a nonna to do so when you were a wee lucky thing, it’s more than likely that Marcella Hazan was the person who introduced you to the concept of a spaghetti frittata, a cozy mess of leftover spaghetti, scrambled egg, some butter, parsley and a fistful of parmesan, cooked in a skillet and cut into wedges. It’s unfancy food at its best, as should be no surprise from the woman who was very distressed by complicated chefs’ recipes, wondering “Why not make it simple?”

what you'll need
spaghetti chitarra (guitar)

So when I first saw Food & Wine’s Cacio e Pepe Pasta Pie on Pinterest earlier this month, as one does, my first thought was “Oooh, so impossible-to-achieve outside a food styling studio pretty,” (because, I mean, look at it) followed by “Wait, that’s not cacio e pepe” (a Roman dish with exactly three ingredients — pecorino, black pepper and spaghetti, usually fresh tonnarelli, and if you can forgive me for being pedantic, definitely no cheddar), followed by “Wouldn’t all of that egg custard leak from my springform?” (answer: yes, and woe is my oven floor) and then “I wonder what Marcella Hazan would have thought of this.” Would she have been distraught by the springform, perturbed by the use of three types of cheese, shaking her head over the finish under the broiler?

eggs, salt, a lot of pepper
ready to bake

Well, if she’s anything like the rest of us, I think she’d be too busy enjoying it to ask such questions because this dish — which I’d liken to the halfway point between a spaghetti frittata and a spaghetti quiche — is spectacular. I made it on a whim a couple weeks ago (because that’s my thing these days) and even though my peeling wood-veneer kitchen counter is the furthest cry from a photography studio, it was a total stunner. And while this is unequivocally comfort food — pasta, eggs, and a glorious amount of cheese, yesss — something about eating it in tall wedges with a green salad felt almost civilized, humble food raised to its most centerpiece-worthy calling, and all from just a handful of ingredients. We’re going to be making this a lot this winter, I can tell.

spaghetti pie with pecorino and black pepper
spaghetti pie with pecorino and black pepper2
spaghetti pie with pecorino and black pepper

One year ago: Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits
Two years ago: Homemade Dulce de Leche
Three years ago: Intensely Chocolate Sables
Four years ago: Potato Chip Cookies
Five years ago: Roast Chicken with Dijon Sauce
Six years ago: Black Bean Soup with Toasted Cumin Seed Crema + Cranberry Syrup and an Intensely Almond Cake
Seven years ago: Mushroom Bourguignon and Sugar Puffs
Eight years ago: Leek and Swiss Chard Tart
Nine years ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake and Pasta with Sausage Tomatoes and Mushrooms

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Tomato and Fried Provolone Sandwich
1.5 Years Ago: Bourbon Slush Punch
2.5 Years Ago: Mama Canales-Garcia’s Avocado Shrimp Salsa
3.5 Years Ago: Zucchini Bread Pancakes
4.5 Years Ago: Corn, Buttermilk and Chive Popovers

Spaghetti Pie with Pecorino and Black Pepper
Adapted from Justin Chapple at Food & Wine

This pie plays off the flavors of classic cacio e pepe — these flavors will be, delightfully, the strongest — but, of course, I fiddled with it a little. The first time, I made it with 8 ounces each of pecorino romano and fontina (because although I love cheddar, I just couldn’t). The second time, I made with less of each (which was a mistake) and because I’ve become That Person, the kind of person that needs to see some green before I can allow something to become a regular meal, I added about a cup of blanched and finely chopped broccoli rabe (which was not). That said, while we enjoyed our green-flecked spaghetti wedges, we agreed we’d have liked it just as much with the greens on the side, preferably in a garlicky and pepper flake sauteed heap.

A few important cooking notes: You must wrap your springform tightly in foil or you and your oven floor will end up in a very bad mood. Please (I beg here) cook your pasta until it’s a good two minutes from done as it will continue cooking in the oven and mushy pasta makes me sad. The greens here are optional (see above) but keep in mind that if you add them, you’ll want to do your best to remove every extra drop of moisture and anticipate that it will take longer to set. Finally, to me, good aged pecorino (usually sold with a black rind) makes all the difference here in providing a salty, funky kick. You can use parmesan if it’s all you’ve got, but you might find that you need more salt if you do.

Butter for greasing springform
1/2 pound broccoli rabe, toughest stems saved for another use, chopped into few-inch segments (optional)
1 pound dried spaghetti
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 to 3 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt
8 ounces aged pecorino cheese, finely grated, divided
8 ounces fontina cheese, grated, divided

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and this is very important, wrap the outside of the springform, focusing on the places where the ring meets the base, tightly in aluminum foil. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. If using broccoli rabe, add it to the pot and boil for 1 to 2 minutes, until it has some give. Fish it out with a large slotted spoon and drain it well. Set aside.

Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook until (this is also important) 2 minutes shy of done, so very al dente, as the spaghetti will continue cooking in the oven. Drain well and let cool slightly.

If using broccoli rabe, wring all extra moisture out of it and blot greens on paper towels to be extra careful. Mince rabe into very small bits. You’ll have about 1 cup total.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk together with salt and pepper. Stir in all but 1/2 cup of each cheese and chopped rabe, if using. Add spaghetti and toss to coat.

Pour into prepared springform and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (without greens) and up to 15 minutes more (with greens, as they add moisture too), until the cheese is melted and bubbling and a knife inserted into the center of the pie and turned slightly will not release any loose egg batter into the center. If the top of your pie browns too quickly before the center is set, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time.

Turn on your oven’s broiler. Broil the pie a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned on top. Cut along springform ring to loosen, then remove ring. Run a spatula underneath the pie to loosen the base and slide onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges.

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perfect meatballs and spaghetti – smitten kitchen

A little background: Smitten Kitchen is approaching its 13th anniversary on the internet, and I’m hoping for all of our sakes that its 13th year is nothing like mine (some very bad bangs decisions and a whole lotta awkwardness). When I began this site, I knew how to cook very few things. What I did know was what I wanted from the things I was cooking and where the dishes I was auditioning either exceeded my expectations or fell very short. I logged it all here like a dutiful aughts-era blogger with no larger agenda for what it would become, because how could I have known? I never knew I’d still be at it 1200 recipes, two cookbooks, and two children of unparalleled cuteness (no bias here whatsoever) later, although still in a small kitchen because I’d missed the Buy Tech Stocks or Possibly Have Become A Banker memo, but this is not a complaint — not about this lot, not in this lifetime.

I’ve learned how to cook hundreds of things over the years, and I’ve learned hundreds of things from the things I’ve cooked. An editorial conundrum I had never considered but that comes up pretty frequently is what I should do with a recipe way back in the archives that I no longer cook the way I once did. I could leave it. I mean, this website is an Important Historical Artifact. It’s essential that every stupid thing I’ve said in 13 years remain preserved intact on the web for all time. For, like, science. Needless to say, I am not devoted to this point of view.

meatballsready to bake

I could change the recipes, and at times, I have. In general, I make changes to recipes when they’re not working the way they should, when the original way of making them is unnecessarily complicated, or when a small piece of new information will drastically change it for the better. However, this often leads to confusion. Imagine being in the middle of making a recipe and you reload it and it’s totally different. It’s happened; I’ve gotten the panicked DMs. Plus, just because I wasn’t happy with it doesn’t mean nobody else was. I try to make the changes clear but I blame nobody who doesn’t want to read small type while making a recipe you’ve made for 8 or 12 years now.

add meatballsall cooked

Sharing a new, better version of an older an old recipe seems the most straightforward (see: even more perfect apple pie, foolproof cacio e pepe, luxe butterscotch pudding, and tall, fluffy buttermilk pancakes, but I don’t do this very often. More often, I’ll make a recipe the newer way I prefer, write it up, take photos, and then… table it, until I figure out what to do with it. (v.5 of a roast chicken saga is not, to me, an engaging premise.) Earlier this year, I realized that my “let’s figure out what to do with this recipe later” list had grown quite large and it was a shame to keep you from what I consider newer, better versions of classic SK recipes. So, this month, let’s try something new.

drained spaghettitoss with some sauce

Newer, Better Month, which begins right now on Smitten Kitchen, is a chance to revisit recipes I’ve been making forever with new knowledge, new techniques, and new real-life time constraints. March seems like the perfect time to do it. It’s such a slog of a month, if you ask me; too wintry, too few holidays, and this year, a bit of bleh in the middle too. I’m eager for a little distraction.

first the spaghetti

And I want to begin with spaghetti and meatballs. One of my earliest cooking influences happened the day I watched an early-2000s Barefoot Contessa episode in which Ina Garten tells us her husband invited friends or colleagues over for dinner and they were probably expecting something fancy but she (surprise) was making spaghetti and meatballs. She knew then what so many more of us know now: entertaining doesn’t need showy, and as most of us aren’t getting treated to impeccable meatballs and spaghetti at home on a regular basis, this would be a welcome treat.

meatballs on top

In 2008, I made them Ina’s way. They’re, of course, fantastic. But it makes an epic amount, frying meatballs is messy, there’s never enough sauce, and I prefer a simpler one that lets the meatballs shine. Although it didn’t physically pain me to look at it at the time, I know this isn’t everyone’s thing, but rewatching the episode now and seeing sauce poured over undressed pasta (vs. finishing the pasta in the sauce so they harmonize as the gods or at least the nonnas intended) is like fingernails on a chalkboard. The recipe below is the way I make it these days, and (surprise) now that I can make them beginning to end in under an hour, I do it fairly often, much to the delight of kids, friends, and I hope soon you too.

perfect spaghetti and meatballs
perfect spaghetti and meatballs


One year ago: Luxe Butterscotch Pudding
Two years ago: Butterscotch Pie
Three years ago: Everyday Meatballs and Roasted Yams and Chickpeas with Yogurt
Four years ago: The ‘I Want Chocolate Cake’ Cake and Cornmeal-Fried Pork Chops with Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes
Five years ago: Kale and Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Salata
Six years ago: French Onion Tart
Seven years ago: Multigrain Apple Crisps
Eight years ago: Pina Colada Cake and Whole Wheat Goldfish Crackers
Nine years ago: Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze and Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart
Ten years ago: Devil’s Chicken Thighs with Braised Leeks and Red Kidney Bean Curry
Eleven years ago: Greens, Orzo and Meatball Soup and Big Crumb Coffee Cake
Twelve years ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Pecan Loaf

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Foolproof Cacio e Pepe
1.5 Years Ago: Tomato Bread + A Bit About Spain
2.5 Years Ago: Burrata with Lentils and Basil Vinaigrette and Eggplant Parmesan Melts
3.5 Years Ago: Crispy Peach Cobbler and Corn Chowder Salad
4.5 Years Ago: Smoky Eggplant Dip and Strawberries and Cream with Graham Crumbles

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simplest spaghetti al limone – smitten kitchen

I am usually no fan of Microplane (specifically Microplane rasp-ed) parmesan. I find it fluffy and weightless. I prefer my parmesan with more bite, gravitas. But here, it’s the very best way to go, rendering parmesan so fine that merely a whisk will turn it into a sauce. Plus, you’ll already be using it for the lemon zest, right? If you don’t have one, use the tiniest holes on a box grater. You can also use the food processor method we do in the cacio e pepe, blending it to a as-smooth-as-possible paste in the machine before returning it to the bowl where the pasta will go.

If you can find an unsprayed/unwaxed lemon, it’s all the better here. If you can’t, give your lemon a light scrub (not removing zest, of course) and dry it thoroughly before zesting it here.

  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces or 225 grams) dried spaghetti
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn
Boil the spaghetti in well-salted water according to package directions. While it boils, finely grate (with a rasp-style grater; here’s the most common one but I prefer this size) the zest of half your lemon into the large bowl you’ll use to serve your dish. Add the juice of the whole lemon (about 4 tablespoons). Use the same rasp to grate the parmesan on top. Add olive oil, about 1/2 teaspoon salt (and more to taste), and several grinds of black pepper and combine them with a whisk until very well mixed and as smooth as possible. When the pasta reaches the ideal texture, scoop out 1 cup of cooking water, set it aside, and drain the rest. Quickly turn piping hot spaghetti to lemon-parmesan mixture in bowl and use tongs or spoons to toss it until all of the strands are coated. Don’t worry if the mixture seems too thick or sticky — first get the strands as evenly coated as possible. Add reserved pasta water, a tiny splash (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) at a time, tossing the whole time, only until the spaghetti looks glossy and lightly sauced, but no so much that you “wash” the sauce off the pasta. You might only need a single splash to achieve this. Add basil leaves and toss to combine, then serve. If you finish each serving with a little extra olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan, you’ll be glad you did.
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zucchini butter spaghetti – smitten kitchen

I am a little bit obsessed with this spaghetti. If we’ve spoken recently, I didn’t let you not asking me about it keep me from going on about its simple summer dinner bliss. I have been fixating on the idea of this spaghetti for two delicious summers and I am almost sad that the recipe is done, as it now transfers into the category of Things I Already Know How To Make, which always gets bumped when there are so many Recipes That Aren’t Done Yet for a little manuscript due at the end of this summer.

what you'll need

It started with a zucchini butter recipe I once spied on Food52, but was traced back to Julia Child’s Grated Zucchini Sautéed in Butter and Shallots. Over rounds of tweaking, I eliminated several things, not because they weren’t good, but because they didn’t suit my needs here: the shallots (added too much sweetness), the partial addition of olive oil (I was promised butter, after all), salting, draining, and wringing the zucchini (so much work, all for a shriveled pile of zucchini that dragged in the pan), adding a little more butter (it helps when stretching it across a big bowl spaghetti), and a not insignificant amount of garlic, pepper flakes, basil, and parmesan and I realize that this now relates to Julia Child’s zucchini butter about as much as I relate to being a morning person, but this paragraph is about about what set the idea off, and this next one is about where I hope it goes:

grated zucchinibutter, garlic, magiczucchini butter, the beginningzucchini butter, getting closerzucchini butter, almost therezucchini butter

Everywhere. The result is the kind of pasta I hope you make every summer, forever (and me, too, when I get to make old things again). I’ve kept the ingredient list as short and impactful as possible, so you could even scrounge it together in an unfamiliar kitchen this summer. I live for the moment when the garlic hits the butter in the pan and every person in the vicinity looks up from their devices in unison and says, “That smells nice. What are you making?” — don’t you?

zucchini butter spaghetti


New: Have you checked out the new SK YouTube channel? There will be new recipe video every Wednesday morning through the end of July. If you subscribe to the channel, you won’t miss even one. Here are the first three episodes; I hope you enjoy them:



6 months ago: Gingerbread Yule Log
1 year ago: Whole Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
2 years ago: Simplest Spaghetti a Limone
3 year ago: Linguine and Clams
4 years ago: Stovetop Americanos
5 years ago: Strawberry Milk and Corn and Black Bean Weeknight Nachos
6 years ago: Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes and Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie
7 years ago: Valerie’s French Chocolate Cake
8 years ago: Espresso Granita with Whipped Cream
9 years ago: Broccoli Parmesan Fritters
10 years ago: Dobos Torte
11 years ago: Mushroom Crepe Cake, Braided Lemon Bread and Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta and Mint
12 years ago: Lemon Mint Granita, Pickled Sugar Snap Peas and Springy Fluffy Marshmallows
13 years ago: 10 Paths to Painless Pizza-Making and Pistachio Petit-Four Cake
14 years ago: Gateau de Crepes and Dilled Potato and Pickled Cucumber Salad


zucchini butter spaghetti

Zucchini Butter Spaghetti

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for pasta water, and to taste
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • 1 cup (235 ml) pasta water, reserved
  • 1 1/4 pounds (570 grams) zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) grated parmesan
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Boil your spaghetti in well-salted water until it’s 1 minute shy of fully cooked. Before you drain it, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and set it aside.

Melt butter in your empty pan over medium-high heat and add the garlic, stirring it into the butter for one minute before adding the zucchini, salt, and red pepper. Cook the zucchini, stirring from time to time, for 13 to 15 minutes. It will first let off a puddle liquid, the liquid will cook off, and the zucchini will become soft and concentrated. If the zucchini begins to brown, reduce the heat slightly. Stir frequently for 2 more minutes, chopping it down into smaller bits with the edge of your spoon or spatula, until it reaches an almost spreadable consistency.

Pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and stir up anything stuck, then add drained pasta, and cook together for 2 minutes. Use tongs or two forks to pull up the zucchini butter sauce into the pasta strands, tossing frequently, and adding some or all of the remaining pasta water as needed to loosen. Toss in half of the parmesan and basil and mix, then transfer to a serving bowl. Finish with remaining parmesan and basil.

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