I love cooking but I also like to have a relaxed evening on date night so I'm spending quality time with H. For that exact reason, I made this very special Cacio e Pepe. Elevated with truffles and made a touch more substantial withthe mushrooms. The toasted hazelnuts add a lovely crunch while complimenting the mushies and truffles perfectly. Plus I have a thing for texture in food.

Hope you do enjoy this.

Serves 2



Olive oil 2tbsp

Mix Mushrooms 200g

Thyme 3-4 sprigs

Garlic 2 fat cloves, peeled and chopped

White wine 1/2 cup sub with veggie stock/ water

Balsamic Vinegar 1/2tsp

S + P


Caciocavallo or Percorino 100g grated

Pasta cooking water 1/2 - 1 cup

Peppercorns, freshly cracked - 1tbs or to taste ( I used a mix of native Australian mountain pepper, green peppercorns, black and pink peppercorns.) Feel free to use whatever you have but a mix of peppers adds varying intensities of heat, depth and fruitiness.


Tagliatelle 225g

Truffles fresh or oil to top - optional 10g

Hazelnuts, toasted and halved for crunch a handful



In a large fry pan heat oil on low heat. Add the garlic and thyme and cook till the garlic softens.

Add in the cleaned sliced mushrooms, do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, adding some extra oil between batches if necessary. Once they have released their juice, season them. Add in the white wine and allow it to cook out. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil. Take off heat and set aside

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions while the mushrooms are cooking.

Also have a large bowl, a small jug/ cup, whisk , tongs and colander ready. Once the pasta and mushrooms are cooked everything moves quite quickly.

Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water in the jug to emulsify the sauce. Place cheese in the bowl and slowly drizzle in the pasta water while whisking continuously to form a smooth sauce about half a cup should be enough but I add a touch more sometimes if necessary, add in the warm pasta, pepper and mushrooms. Toss to combine, check for seasoning and adjust. Divide into plates and top with thinly shaved truffles and hazelnuts.

If for some reason you feel like your sauce is grainy, before adding the pasta, transfer the cheese mix into a jug with 1tbs of hot water and blitz till smooth. Follow the rest of the steps.

Enjoy the romance and lap up the praise from your partner. Happy Valentine's!

Serve with a side of Peach & Radicchio salad with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. (not photographed but I love salads and no meal is complete without one.)

Let me know if you make it. Tag me @coco_and_chili on Instagram if make it and use the #coco_and_chili