Bizarrely, pasta as a side dish is a rather weird concept for me. I love pasta, probably a bit more than is considered normal, but I always have huge bowls of it, rather than having it as a small part of a meal. So the other day when I was having a “what the heck will I serve this with” moment with some chicken, I remembered reading about a simple pasta side dish that might just do the trick. It’s an easy one too, which uses very few ingredients yet manages to be mega tasty at the same time. I suspect cheese and oil quality are key – I am using up gorgeous olive oil purchased on a recent trip to Spain, and the end of a block of parmesan imported from Italy that I bought on a whim. But I’m pretty sure this would be tasty regardless.
To achieve this culinary dream, boil some spaghetti (or other pasta shape) is salted water until tender. While waiting toast some black peppercorns in a dry pan then grind. Drain the pasta but add some of the cooking liquid back into the pan with the drained pasta, then add some nice extra virgin olive oil, a decent amount of grated parmesan cheese and lots and lots of the black pepper (don’t be shy with it – this is a black pepper and cheese pasta!). Finish with some chopped parsley if available and serve right away.