"The inspiration for this butter comes from the classic Roman pasta dish of spaghetti with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper," says chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene's in Portland. "I put those two ingredients--plus some Parmigiano to mellow the bite of the pecorino a bit--into a butter, which you can keep in your fridge for weeks."
1/2 pound (2 cubes) unsalted butter, at room temperature
How to Make It
Put peppercorns in a small skillet and toast over medium heat, shaking pan or stirring constantly to toast pepper evenly, just until you begin to smell a black pepper perfume, 2 to 3 minutes, depending on your skillet. Pour pepper into another container and let cool completely.
Crack and grind pepper, either in a spice grinder (or a coffee grinder you dedicate to spices) or with a mortar and pestle. It's nice to have uneven consistency, from fine to coarse.
Fold pepper and both cheeses into butter with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and pile into whatever container you want to serve or save it in. Chill butter for at least 1 hour to firm it up and to let flavors marry and permeate the butter.
Recipe Adapted from Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, by Joshua McFadden with Martha Holmberg (Artisan Books). Copyright 2017. Ava Gene's, Portland