- 1/3 Lb or 1 ½ cups of Penne
- 1 1/2 Cups of Pecorino, Parmesan or your favourite hard Cheese, grated like fine sand
- Awesome Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat
- Frying Oil, enough to fill a pot 1/4 of the way or deep fryer
- Fine Sea Salt or any fine salt to taste (omit if using Pecorino)
- In a pot of salted boiling water, add the penne and instead of cooking to al dente, I want you to break the biggest rule of pasta (which is don’t overcook it). Overcooking the pasta is anything beyond al dente. We want the piece of pasta to be fully hydrated and have no starch remaining when you bite into it. My package called for cooking the pasta for 11 minutes for al dente. I cooked it for 15 minutes. Then strain and rinse under cold water. Dry on a towel, coat with an Awesome Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil and pop it in the fridge until the pasta is fully cooled and firmed up.
- Meantime, heat a pot of frying oil on med-high and bring it up to 350 degrees.
- Using the finest diamond edge side of a box grater , grate the cheese as fine as you can so it coats the pasta really well. (I like to go one step further to run it through a mesh strainer to break up any clumps and to ensure it's as fine as possible) Once the pasta is cooled and the oil is hot, add the pasta to the oil one by one and cook them in smaller batches. If you add them together and too much at once they will all stick and clump together. Add a small bunch at a time and once in the oil don’t touch them. Let them cook and firm up. Some might stick a little but once they firm up, they will begin to break up once they are agitated. Once the pasta is lightly browned and there are beautiful blisters formed on the pasta that will cling to the cheese, strain it from the oil and let it cool on a wire rack and continue cooking the rest of the pasta.
- Once all the pasta is fried and cooled, add the salt to taste, (omit if using Pecorino) to the cheese and toss until fully coated and they are ready to serve.
Original recipe & Photo by Steve Cusato | Not Another Cooking Show