Acini de Pepe, The Poor Man’s Israeli Cous Cous

Judie's acini de pepe

Thirty or so years ago, I ate a bowl of this every morning with some sort of soft-yolked egg. Our adventures with Israeli cous cous got me thinking about how to have that taste treat without spending a fortune on the real thing. I don’t recall the price I paid at Trader Joe’s, but it was probably less than the $10./pound prices I am finding on the internet these day.

So I got some Acini de Pepe to make a run at duplicating the experience of the original Israeli Cous Cous that I had blogged about previously.

I thought it turned out great. We had this for a light supper one night when dinner got really late. I boiled about 3/4 of a cup of Acini de Pepe in two cups of water. Perfect! I had made ghee earlier, so had the foam that I had scraped off that, so I added it to the pasta to slick it up some.

Other ad hoc ingredients were: Montreal Steak Seasoning, tarragon, sun-dried tomatoes (cut up very small because I didn’t rehydrate them – wanted an intense tomato flavor), sautéed mushrooms, Mexican scallions, bits of ham, and some leftover spinach. We each added some freshly-ground lemon pepper, which added just the zing it needed.

DH is a fan of spicier food than I am, so he added roasted Hatch chilis and Medium Salsa to his. Most of his was gone before I could get the camera swung around to his side of the table!

Gary's acini de pepe


About judilyn

RV'er, foody, caregiver, knowledge seeker
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11 Responses to Acini de Pepe, The Poor Man’s Israeli Cous Cous

  1. Clanmother says:

    Looks absolutely delicious!! I especially how you integrated the spices.


  2. I can’t understand the price for Israeli couscous in Trader’s Joe. I get the original (Osem) on line from Amazon for only $14 per 5 lbs bag!

    Nevertheless, this looks yummy! 🙂


  3. Opps, didn’t realize that the modest link will end up as a large photo… You can of course delete it. Sorry…


  4. judilyn says:

    Your link is fine, and welcomed! Looks like 6.6#, yes? Twelve boxes at 8.8 ounces each . . . makes it $3.13 a pound. Still pretty steep for pasta. I understand there is quite a lot of processing to get it to be so attractive, but the Acini de Pepe works out to $1.13 a pound – on sale at $.85 for twelve ounces.

    It might be good browned up a bit before putting it into the water – sort of like quinoa or bulgur.


  5. dreamjosie says:

    We love acini de pepe. Since I always have a box in the cupboard I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. And on another note, tarragon is my absolute favorite spice.


    • judilyn says:

      I was down to my last tablespoon of tarragon, and found a shortage in the grocery store. Finally found some, but a tiny fraction of an ounce (.2, I think it was) had a price tag of five dollars and something. Gulp! No thank you.

      So I queried one of the sites where I buy a lot of items, and they had 1.3 ounces for $5.30! Sold!!! It smells heavenly when it is new and fresh like this! C’mon over; I’ll share some with you. ;->


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