On a Lenten Friday, try pasta, plain, simple and utterly delicious

pastaThis dish is one of my childhood favorites and I so enjoyed introducing it to my nieces and nephews way back when. It was one of a number of recipes passed on to mom from dad’s mother that basically featured pasta, butter, cheese and sometimes cream, in a variety of ways.

Around our house these dishes were known as “white food” and Mom served them up mostly when one of us kids was under the weather according to what Grandma said was an old Italian custom. In fact, if mom granted one of us a rare sick day off from school, she was sure to serve up a bowl of pasta with warm milk and butter for lunch and maybe even dinner.,

Since the Lenten recipe series this year is designed to bring the international flavors of the Church into the family kitchen, I enjoyed preparing this dish once again to share with readers. The hope is that you will share it in your family kitchens.

It’s a nice easy dish to prepare and one the kids can help with provided they are old enough to grate the Romano cheese called for. I like to serve it sprinkled with a lot of pepper and added cheese. For such a simple dish, it has a surprisingly rich taste.

It tastes great served with crusty Italian bread and a tossed green salad.

Makes 6 servings


1 lb spaghetti or Perciatelli pasta

7 ounces grated Romano cheese

1 tablespoon butter

fresh black pepper to taste


Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. In a pan, melt butter and half of the cheese. Set aside 1 cup of boiling water then drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the melted cheese. Generously pepper the mixture. If the sauce is too thick, add the hot salted water as needed. Dish the pasta into individual bowls and top with the remaining Romano cheese and more black pepper.


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