May 24, 2023
Beloved throughout Italy, this dish is one of the most famous pasta dishes, along with Carbonara, Gricia and Amatriciana, but among the four it is the simplest and one for whose preparation the fewest ingredients are needed. We are talking about “cacio e pepe”, a typical pasta in the Roman culinary tradition.
As we can guess from the name the ingredients in addition to pasta are two, but the difficulty lies in knowing how to balance them correctly and getting it wrong is very easy!
If you want to find out how to prepare it to perfection you just have to follow this recipe to the letter!
What kind of cheese is "Cacio"? Only and exclusively Pecorino Romano cheese is used to make this pasta!
Ingredients for 4 persons:
- 14 oz spaghetti or other types*
- 7 oz of pecorino romano cheese
- black pepper
- cooking water
- Start by putting on the water for the pasta, remembering to salt it lightly so as not to risk getting a pasta that is too savory.
- At this point, we start with the preparation of the sauce, take the form of pecorino romano cheese (if you prefer you can buy it already grated) we grate it and set it aside.
- Take the black peppercorns and crush them coarsely (you can use a meat tenderizer or a grinder). While the pasta is cooking, put a frying pan on the stove and pour in a good spoonful of ground pepper. Let it toast for about 2 minutes, then add a ladle of cooking water and lower the flame.
- Now that we are going to drain the pasta, let us remember to keep some of the cooking water in a bowl that we will use to prepare the cream sauce and to finish cooking the pasta in the pan.
- Drain the pasta very “al dente” directly into the skillet and bring them to cook by adding a ladleful of still-boiling water from the skillet. Allow it to absorb, stirring often, and if the pasta is still hard, add another ladle and continue cooking in the pan.
- When finished, transfer the pasta to a large bowl where it will be topped with the creamy sauce we will prepare now.The first reason why cacio e pepe does not come is because of excessive heat: in fact, you should not have the stove on, just like when making carbonara.
- Now you need to create the classic cream cheese, and to do this you need to melt the cheese with hot water. But how to do it to avoid the formation of lumps, and create that very unpleasant glue effect? Simple, with the cooking water! To do this, add a ladleful to the cheese, directly in a bowl, and stir vigorously with a spoon.
- Now pour the creamy mixture into the bowl, and stir with tongs or a spoon. All you have to do is add more black pepper to taste and serve the pasta immediately. The dish is ready, buon appetito!
Here are some more tips for a perfect result:
First of all, what pecorino cheese do you use for cacio e pepe? The choice should fall on a pecorino romano that is not too seasoned, since the more so, the more you risk the formation of lumps. For the pepper, however, the best choice would be to buy peppercorns and crush them at home.
What type of pasta to use for cacio e pepe?*
Although this recipe is almost always associated with spaghetti, a weakness of Italian cuisine, we can use other formats as long as they enhance this sauce!
- Bucatini cacio e pepe
- Pici Cacio e Pepe
- Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe
PS: While you're here, why not give a try to our delicious vino?
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Words and Photographs by Gianina Rose