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In my quest to prepare several new (to me) recipes out of Ina Garten’s “Back to Basics” cookbook before the October 26 release of her new cookbook, “How easy is that?” I have been trying a few of the easier recipes.  I work full time and sometimes when I get home from work I don’t feel like cooking a multi-stepped, overly involved recipe…you understand, right?

Since my photography lessons (self taught) aren't up to speed just yet, I borrowed this from Google. It's not what the pasta the recipe calls for looks like but you get the jest of the overall image.

So…I made Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper last week.  Wow, is it delicious and super easy.  I confess I took the time to pick up an Italian ‘tagliarelle’ pasta…they carry this at most specialty markets and even had a version at Trader Joe’s.  I also bought the Pecorino cheese at Trader Joe’s.  I grow fresh parsley almost year round so I had that on hand.

This recipe has a fresh herb taste and is very delicious, in my humble opinion.

(Could this picture be any smaller?)

To go with this I prepared Garlic Ciabatta Bread (from the same book).  I personally loved this bread, hubby thought it was good but not his favorite accompaniment to a pasta dish.  I usually make a basic sour dough bread with butter, Lawry’s garlic salt and Parmesan cheese (brown under the broiler) bread. I thought the Garlic Ciabatta Bread was so fresh and flavorful, it’s a winner in my book.

This really is a great book and the recipes are pretty easy.

PASTA WITH PECORINO & PEPPER

Ingredients

* 1 tablespoon whole black Tellicherry peppercorns

* Kosher salt

* 1/2 pound dried Italian egg pasta, such as tagliarelle

* 1 cup freshly grated aged Pecorino cheese (4 ounces), plus extra for serving

* 2 tablespoons heavy cream

* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

* 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Directions

Place the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and crush them until you have a mixture of coarse and fine bits. (You can also grind them in a small food mill or coffee grinder.) Set aside.

Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package until al dente. Ladle 1 cup of the pasta cooking water into a glass measuring cup and reserve it. Drain the pasta quickly in a colander and return the pasta to the pot with a lot of the pasta water still dripping.

Working quickly, with the heat on very low, toss the pasta with 1/2 cup of the grated Pecorino, the crushed peppercorns, cream, butter, parsley, and 1 teaspoon salt, tossing constantly. If the pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking water. Off the heat, toss in the remaining 1/2 cup Pecorino. Serve immediately with a big bowl of extra grated Pecorino for sprinkling.

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GARLIC CIABATTA BREAD

Ingredients

* 6 large garlic cloves, chopped

* 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

* 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves

* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

* Freshly ground black pepper

* 1/2 cup good olive oil

* 1 loaf ciabatta bread

* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until minced. Add the parsley, oregano, salt and pepper and pulse twice.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan and add the garlic mixture. Remove the pan from the heat.

Slice the ciabatta bread in half horizontally, and spread the butter on 1 half. Spread the garlic mixture on the other half of the bread, and put the halves together. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil.

Place the bread in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Open the foil, and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.

Let me know what you think.