Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cacio e Pepe カーチョ・エ・ペペ



Cacio e pepe ("Cheese and Pepper") is a simple yet fantastically tasty Roman pasta dish made with spaghetti, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and some olive oil. This probably violates the Italian code of eating, but I like to have this after having lots of wine to cure that mild craving for food after drinks.

A very easy dish to make except for one thing - timing the cooking of the sauce and pasta - to avoid a burnt and/or over-gooey mess. Prep by grating the cheeses and grounding the pepper. Start cooking the spaghetti in boiling, well-salted water, then toast the ground black pepper in olive oil in a separate pan until fragrant but not burnt (remove from heat to avoid burning if necessary). Toss in the pasta with some pasta cooking water, add the cheeses, stir well, then adjust the sauce with pasta cooking water until you reach a creamy consistency. Quickly transfer to a warm dish or bowl, and dig in without wasting any time.

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