Cacio e Pepe
Inspired by : How to Make BEST CACIO E PEPE PASTA
A seemingly simple recipe, but one that requires a little care for its success. Cacio means cheese, here Pecoriono Romano, a rather salty pecorino, from the Rome area. This recipe caught my attention because Anthony Bourdain (Cacio e pepe) stated that it is the best pasta recipe in the world. The result is indeed surprising, a typical case of synergy. It is important to end with the pasta coated with a creamy mixture of cheese and the other ingredients: pasta water and pepper of course. Here we use a little less water than normal to concentrate the pasta starch.
Also use a little less salt (7 g per liter instead of 10 g) as Pecorino is a rather salty cheese. As for the cheese, it is recommended to grate it FINELY, so that it melts more easily, for example with a fine Microplane grater.
Finally, for cooking the pasta, I always find necessary to cook them few minutes longer than expected from the package for al-dente.
As this recipe suggests to remove them from the water 3 minutes before the end, I remove them at specified time for al-dente, which gives me some extra minutes necessary for the sauce. It is your decision.
220 g spaghetti
1.5 l saltwater
1 tablespoon freshly, coarsely ground pepper
80 g finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Cook the pasta for the time indicated on the package for al-dente.
A few minutes before this time, heat a frying pan, large enough to hold the pasta. Add the pepper and toast it lightly (be careful not to burn it). When the pasta is cooked, add to the pan a small ladle of the pasta water per person (here 2).
Take the pasta out of the water with pasta tongs and put it in the pan.
Continue cooking for the remaining 3 minutes, while stirring and adding a little of the pasta water, as for a risotto, until the pasta is completely cooked and a sauce begins to form in the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat, and quickly add, while stirring, the finely grated cheese to obtain a creamy mixture.
Serve with freshly ground pepper and possibly a little more grated cheese.