Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper) is proof that you can make something delicious that is very simple and has very few ingredients if you cook it right and use good quality ingredients.  There are only six ingredients in this recipe so use the best you can get.  Grind the pepper and grate the cheese yourself.  Don't use pepper that is already ground or cheese from some cardboard container with a rotating top.

2 tsp
salt
12 oz
uncooked pasta, linguini, spaghetti, angel hair all work well
3 tbl
butter (total)
2 tsp
freshly ground black pepper
1 cups
grated Padano or Parmesan cheese
cup
grated Pecorino cheese

 

Bring a gallon of water to a boil and add the salt.  Cook the pasta until it is just barely done.  Don't over cook it.  When the pasta is about half cooked, turn the heat to medium under a large frying pan and melt 2 tbl of the butter. Add the pepper and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.   The pasta should be cooked by now so save a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.  Add cup of the pasta water to the frying pan, the remaining 1 tbl of butter and stir until the butter is melted.  Turn the heat to low, add the pasta to the frying pan, and mix until the pepper is well distributed.  Tongs work well when mixing the pasta.  Add the Padano or Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese is melted an incorporated into the pasta.  Turn the heat off, add the Pecorino, and stir again until the cheese melts and is incorporated into the pasta.  If the pasta seems a little dry add some of the pasta water and stir well.  Spoon into bowls and sprinkle a little extra grated cheese over the top if you'd like.  Serve.

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