Cooking in our casa a classic Italian dish Cacio e Pepe with a few non-traditional methods. This is a simple, flavorful, beautiful pasta dish! Super easy but will impress your dinner guests.
- 500g pasta of your choice. Traditionally this dish is served with spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni. I took a slightly different road and used Mafaldine which is a wider and wavy type of pasta.
- 1/4 cup of FRESHLY cracked black pepper (you can use roughly this amount or just feel as you go… quanto basta !!)
- 3 tbsp butter (NOT TRADITIONAL… but it’s our casa so..)
- PASTA WATER. This ingredient is very important in this recipe and will be used two different times during our cooking. Get your ladles ready.
- 3-4 cups of Pecorino Romano Cheese. This is the true star of the dish!! It is preferred to freshly grate your pecorino, not to buy an already grated container. It is also preferred, if possible, to have your Italian sous chef do the grating while you drink your vino.
Start by bringing 8-10 Cups of water to a boil. Once water gets to a rapid boil add 1 tbsp salt to water. Just enough to flavor the pasta. Add your pasta and continue to stir so the pasta doesn’t stick together.
In a deep dish pan (the pasta is going to end up in here so make sure you have plenty of room) On med-high heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter, add fresh black pepper, stir and let the pepper toast up while the butter starts to bubble.
After the pasta has been boiling for about 3 minutes, add two ladle full scoops (a measuring cup, or whatever you have is fine) of that starchy pasta water (look for that cloudy water then you know it’s ready) to the pepper mixture and allow to simmer all together for about 5 minutes.
While the pepper mixture is simmering, Add two ladle fulls to the grated pecorino in about a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk until a creamy texture.
Test your pasta. We are looking for al dente (NOT OVERLY COOKED) we are going to add the pasta to the pepper mixture so it will cook down more!! For the malfadine it took approx. 8 mins for the perfect texture but all pastas cook at different times (check your pasta box/bag instructions)
Time to add the pasta. No straining necessary. We want all the starch we can get! Use tongs and directly add the pasta from the boiling water to the pepper mixture pan. Once all pasta is in, add the pecorino cheesey mixture over top the pasta. Add that remaining tablespoon of butter and stir altogether keeping the flame on low heat. After well combined you’re all set to plate you beautiful dish of pasta!!
THAT’S IT!! So simple, so fresh, so delicious.