Pasta Cacio e Pepe is one of the 4 Roman pastas and it is made with just two ingredients: cacio (pecorino romano sheep cheese) and pepe (black pepper). Though it may seem simple to make, there is a knack to perfecting the timing and texture of the dish. Watch Foodie Sisters in Italy, Benedetta and Valeria, show you how to get it just right.
Spaghetti Cacio & Pepe
200g freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
350g pasta (spaghetti or tonnarelli)
Good quality black pepper, freshly cracked
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add a handful of black pepper grains to the water. It will give the pasta extra flavor.
Scoop out a large glass of the peppery water and allow it to cool slightly.
Before adding the pasta to the water, remove and dispose of the back pepper grains, they are used simply to add color and flavor.
There are many different ways of obtaining the perfect creamy sauce.
An “easy way” is to put the grated pecorino cheese in a food processor or hand blender and turn it on. Gradually and slowly add in the warm peppery water to the food processor until you get a smooth creamy sauce. Add a good dose of freshly cracked black pepper. Be very careful about the temperature of the water. If it is too warm, the cheese will form lumps. The sauce should not be too liquid, as the sauce has to capture and coat every bit of pasta. Put the smooth, thickened sauce into a large bowl.
If you find yourself craving for Cacio & Pepe during a blackout (or if you really want to show off), place the pecorino cheese in a bowl, gradually add the peppery water and stir, stir fast until the magic takes place. Then add the freshly cracked black pepper.
Once the pasta has reached the perfect al dente time, drain it and add to the bowl of sauce. Stir the pasta vigorously until the cacio and pepe cream is perfectly mixed with the spaghetti.