Victor was perusing some old Gourmet Magazines looking for some inspiration when he found a recipe for Parmesan and Black Pepper Biscotti. It’s the Year of the Biscotti around here, so we had to make them! I mean… without even looking at a recipe, how good does that sound?!?
I had subscribed to Gourmet on and off over the years. It was overly pretentious, at times, but the recipes were sound. Convoluted, at times, but sound. Condé Nast closed it down in 2009. This was one of the non-convoluted recipes. Pretty basic and straightforward.
The recipe stated: These savory biscotti are ideal for a soiree. Their crisp texture is accented by the richness of parmesan and the bite of black pepper — perfect for nibbling in between sips of wine.
I didn’t nibble them between sips of wine, tonight, but they sure as hell went good with ravioli!
The recipe is very much like a quick bread or biscuit with the butter cut into the flour before adding the liquid. It also calls for a quarter-pound of cheese, whole milk, and real butter. The recipe is not for the faint of heart – but… you’re also not supposed to eat twenty of them.
Moderation, my friends… Moderation…
Parmesan Pepper Biscotti
adapted from the defunct Gourmet magazine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper – you want it coarsely ground – not fine
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (2 1/4 cups)
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 cups cheese, and 1 tablespoon ground black pepper in a large bowl. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Mix 3 eggs with milk and add to flour mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough into four pieces. Form each piece into a slightly flattened 12-inch-long log (about 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch high). Transfer logs to 2 ungreased large baking sheets.
Whisk remaining egg and brush some over logs, then sprinkle tops of logs evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper.
Bake, rotating sheets 180 degrees and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until logs are pale golden and firm, about 30 minutes total.
Cool about 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
Carefully transfer 1 warm log to a cutting board and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining logs, transferring slices to sheets. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 35 to 45 minutes total.
Cool biscotti about 15 minutes.
I did mention you’re not supposed to eat twenty of these, right?!? You’re not supposed to – but, given the opportunity, I think it could easily be done. They’e good. Really really good!
They went great with the ravioli. Simple cheese ravioli in a sauce of ground beef, peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, peperocino, and a package of Marinated Mediterranean Antipasto Vegetables from Trader Joe’s. A really simple sauce that had tons of flavor.
We’ll be saving some for our Christmas Eve Dungeness Crab Cioppino and sending the rest up for the Seven Fish Feast in North Jersey that we will be missing, again.
This is a recipe you should be making this week.
It’s that good.