cacio e pepe

I’ve made and failed at making cacio e pepe more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve created several dishes worth of watery pasta with clumps of cheese that refused to melt. Even after the first, second, and seventh failed attempt, I kept trying because some years ago I ate a wonderful plate of cacio e pepe and dreamed of recreating it.

However, it was also a matter of pride. How hard could it be to make a dish comprised of cheese, pasta and pepper? Unfortunately, I found out this simple dish can be easy to mess up. Making a silky sauce from dry cheese and water is a skill that needs to be learned.  Read more


You’ve probably eaten cantucci before but you likely called it by a different name. Typically, in the US we see these cookies labelled biscotti, which is what they were called back in the Roman times. The Romans created biscotti (meaning “twice-cooked”) as a convenient and durable snack for travelers. They were first baked in order to cook the dough, and then a second time in order to dry them out for long journeys.

After the fall of the Roman empire, these cookies were not made for centuries until they made a comeback in Tuscany around the Renaissance period. While biscotti can be any kind of twice-baked cookie, cantucci specifically gets it flavor from almonds. It is composed exclusively of flour, eggs, sugar and almonds, without any yeast or fat.

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eating guide to the upper east side

The restaurants here in New York serve some of the best food in the world. With the vast number of restaurants I knew that I could not do the City’s food scene justice in one blog post so for this entry I am going to focus exclusively on those in my neighborhood, the Upper East Side. This is by no means an exhaustive list but these are the spots that Gregg and I find ourselves going back to again and again because the food is so incredibly good. So, here is my quintessential dining guide, but I’d love to hear about your Upper East Side favorites in the comments to discover a few new ones, so share away!

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zucchini pasta


This was my all-time favorite dish as a kid. I mean what is not to love about pasta covered in cheese and zucchini? So of course when I left for college it became one of the first recipes I learned to make on my own.

Not only do I still love the taste of this dish but the ingredients are cheap and it is easy to make. The only downside is that it does not warm up well. If you are going to make zucchini pasta cook for enough people to eat it one in sitting. No judgement on how many, or few, servings you find in this recipe (I’m always confused as to how Ben & Jerry’s calculates four servings in their ice cream pints but I digress).  Read more