A simpler recipe with fewer ingredients blended together in this brilliantly established Italian dish is cacio e pepe or Pecorino and Pepper Spaghetti. Spaghetti with Pecorino and pepper is a nice and easy way to make use of simple ingredients to make a delicious authentic dish.
- Prep: 10 minutes
- Serves: 4
- Cook: 10 minutes
- Difficulty level: easy
Ingredients – cacio e pepe
- 320 g Spaghetti
- 200 g Medium aged pecorino romano, to be grated
- Black peppercorns to taste
- Salt to taste
Instructions – cacio e pepe
Grate 200 g of Pecorino
In a pan, boil a little less water than you usually do for pasta (so it will be richer in starch). When it boils you can salt it to taste and cook the spaghetti.
In the meantime, pour the whole peppercorns on a cutting board, then crush them with a pestle or a grinder. This way, the pungent aroma of the pepper will be more released.
Pour half of the crushed pepper into a large non-stick pan, toast it over low heat mixing with a wooden scoop, then mix in a couple of ladles of boiling water from the pasta. The bubbles you will see will be due to the starch content in the water.
Drain the spaghetti when they have boiled as instructed on the label. Pour them directly into the pan with the roasted pepper and continue to cook. Stir the pasta continuously with kitchen tongs to make it “breathe” and add a ladle of water or two as needed, to continue cooking.
When the pasta is cooked, begin preparing the Pecorino cream (do not start this operation first because the cream would get too thick): pour about half of the grated Pecorino into a bowl. Add a ladle of boiled water from the pasta and whisk vigorously. Then add some more Pecorino, keeping a little of it aside for seasoning later. Add a little more water as needed: at this stage, you will have to calibrate the Pecorino and water dose well to obtain a cream of the right consistency without lumps.
Turn off the fire of the pan with the spaghetti, pour the Pecorino cream, and whisk. Season with the remaining pepper and pecorino and serve.
For lovers of short pasta: you can also use half sleeves or rigatoni instead of spaghetti
It is important to use less water than is usually used to boil the pasta (about half of it) because one of the important elements in making the pecorino cream and avoiding lumps is to add water to the spaghetti and Pecorino. Hot and very rich in starch.