cacio e pepe with lemon

here's the thing: you can't have it all. all those women out there, working full time, raising kids, keeping a marriage afloat, cooking a real dinner for their family every night, finding time for hobbies and themselves, their plan will sooner or later crack. the problem is that as life goes on, we add more and more responsibilities all wedged into the same amount of time and with the same amount of effort and attention span we've always had. so what happens? something gives. in the last year, i've spent more time and focus on health and wellness, spending nights and weekends working out instead of blogging or keeping in touch with far away friends. i spend my evenings playing with my son, so time dedicated to dinner becomes shorter and shorter. not because i no longer enjoy cooking - follow me on pinterest and you'll see my kitchen is still a flurry of activity - but because i would rather spend my time building towers and crashing them with my son than stuffing ravioli. so now, more than ever, i am on the lookout for meals that start to finish are done in less than thirty minutes - bonus if they're toddler friendly. this pasta fits the bill perfectly. although the original recipe calls for a meyer lemon - rightfully so, since they are deliciously sweet and tart - a regular old lemon will do. toss in some cooked peas, like my favorite alfredo, to round this out as a meal.

cacio e pepe with lemon
adapted from martha stewart living
30 minutes, makes 2 main course servings or 4 starters

8 ounces bucatiti, linguini, or spaghetti
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces or 1 cup grated grana padano cheese
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper, either coarsely ground or ground with a mortar & pestle
3/4 ounce or 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1 small lemon, zested and cut into wedges

  1. cook pasta about 2 minutes less than the package indicates. reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain pasta. return pasta to the pot.
  2. add 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and butter to the pasta. toss and place over medium heat. bring to a simmer.
  3. reduce heat to low and add the grana padano cheese and pepper. toss with the pasta and cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
  4. remove from heat and stir in the pecorino romano cheese. mix in the lemon zest. 
  5. serve the pasta with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

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