Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

I’m really, really falling for Cyril’s @ Clay Pigeon Winery lately. They have three of my favorite things — wine, cheese, and charcuterie. They have a lovely space. They have a cheese club that I haven’t brought myself to participate in but follow it with rapt attention. They hosted an urban winery event recently with more of my three favorite things. Fourteen wineries were in attendance. Nonperishables for charity were contributed. It was a great time. Wineries now on my radar that weren’t before — Fausse Piste and Jasper Sisco.

Cacio e Pepe. Cheese and pepper. Two of my favorite things. What don’t they make better? I like to eat vegetables, but I definitely don’t eat as many as I should. I could blame it on a variety of reasons, but I’ll just own it. I did eat a jar of canned beets standing over the sink the other day. That’s the kind of classy vegetable lover I am.

The article from Bon Appetit that spawned this whole thing said a lot of what I feel. It spoke to me. Sometimes I want a certain level of vegetable matter in my dish because a salad just feels silly. Roasting a ton of vegetables, covering them in a buttery cheese sauce and a ton of pepper really makes all of this worthwhile. The pasta is just a filler. I could have easily doubled the vegetables and eaten them as is. I went with sweet potato to finally kill that craving from months ago and some Brussels because it’s the season. The world is your oyster. Just make sure they’re evenly sized pieces so you can let them roast together.

Inspiration: Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 5-7 Brussels sprouts — halved or quartered to get them the same size as the sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2lb pasta of choice
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Pecorino cheese

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a pan with parchment or a Silpat. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato cubes and brussels sprouts with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on the pan in an even layer. Roast them for about 45 minutes or until soft and browning on the edges.

Cook your pasta according to package directions. Before draining, reserve a cup of pasta water.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add a ton of black pepper. Add a ladleful of the pasta water and bring the mixture to a boil. Toss the cooked pasta in the mixture. Make sure it’s well coated before adding the vegetables. Grate a ton of Pecorino cheese over everything. It should melt into the hot ingredients and turn glossy. Taste for more salt, pepper, and cheese.

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