Almo e Pepe Spaghettini

Pamper the people you love with this simple, yet sumptuous plant-based pasta. They’ll be smitten with the pepper sauce, and so will you.

 

Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 20 mins | Serves: 4

Pepper transforms this otherwise humble pasta dish into an indulgent dinner fit for any occasion. It’s based on the classic Italian ‘Cacio e Pepe’ pasta dish —which literally translates to cheese and pepper, yet rather than using grated Pecorino Romano cheese, we’ve created an entirely plant-based version with Almo Crème that’s just as good, if not better.

Luxuriously creamy and velvety smooth, the cheese sauce is thickened with cornflour, although arrowroot works well too as a paleo-friendly option. Cooking this traditional Italian sauce in a cast-iron dish will also keep the meal as wholesome and healthy as possible. We’ve used the Le Creuset Cast Iron Round Casserole from their new Meringue collection.

The recipe calls for spaghettini, a thinner version of spaghetti, but you can use bucatini, or most traditionally, tonnarelli — a square-cut spaghetti that’s popular in Rome. If you have fresh whole peppercorns, try toasting them on a dry skillet before crushing and adding to the sauce. This extra step brings out the flavour beautifully.

Tip: Feeling fancy? Why not introduce a little luxury with some fresh truffle?

Ingredients

Cheese & Pepper Pasta Sauce

  • 400g pasta (spaghettini, bucatini, or tonnarelli)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp Almo Crème
  • 1/2 tbsp cornflour or arrowroot
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1-2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sea salt, to taste

Almond Parmesan

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook spaghettini until al dente. Remove from heat and drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the almond meal and nutritional yeast flakes in a blender, using a one-to-one ratio, and pulse until finely chopped, like shaved parmesan.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together vegetable stock, cornflour, pepper, Almo Crème and nutritional yeast flakes.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large casserole dish over low heat. Add the sauce and cook, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Gradually add 1/4 cup of pasta water and cook, continually stirring, for another 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking
  5. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and stir well. Plate your pasta with extra freshly ground black pepper and an optional sprinkle of almond parmesan cheese.