The Traditional Pasta Cacao e Pepe

 

We’ve been rewatching Somebody Feed Phil with Phil Rosenthal and recently came to his Venice episode and binge watched Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy. During Tucci’s Rome show, he visited Japanese chef Kotaro Noda’s Bistro 64. Chef Noda made the classic Roman dish, Cacio e Pepe.

While we were watching it in the morning, my mouth was watering and I knew what we were having for dinner. I adore pasta (and actually most carb rich foods). To me a bowl of pasta is comfort food therefore, I don’t need an excuse to make it. It took me a couple replays of the segment to get the ingredients and technique down.

 

A Humble Dish

 

Parmesan Pecorino cheeses

 

This is a truly simple and humble dish with six ingredients… seven if you count the pasta water. The stars of the dish are freshly ground pepper, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses. In 15-minutes you could have this meal.

Looking for another quick and simple meal? Try a bread salad from Tuscany, Panzanella.

Cacio e Pepe

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Spaghetti
  • 1-2 cups salted pasta water
  • 3-4 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grown black pepper
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

Preparation

  • - Cook spaghetti according to the directions adding a generous helping of salt to the water.
  • - Drain pasta reserving 1-2 cups of pasta water.
  • - Melt butter in large pan stirring in the pepper toasting for a minute.
  • - Add a cup of the pasta water and bring to a simmer.
  • - Add pasta then slowing add in cheeses tossing together until a "creamy" sauce forms. If the pasta is too dry then incorporate more of the pasta.
  • - Finish the dish with more freshly ground pepper.
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