Cacio e Pepe Recipe
How to make authentic Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e pepe is perhaps the simplest of the Roman pasta dishes, made as it is with just two ingredients: cacio (pecorino romano cheese) and pepe (black pepper). However, there is a knack to perfecting the timing and texture of the dish so don’t be surprised if it takes you a couple of goes to get just right.
Spaghetti Cacio & Pepe
200g freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
350g pasta (spaghetti or tonnarelli)
Good quality black pepper, freshly cracked
Lemon zest (optional)
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. This, according to Local Aromas, is the best way to do it:
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.
Once the pasta has reached the perfect “al dente” time, drain it and add to the bowl of sauce. Stir the pasta vigorously until cacio and pepe cream is perfectly mixed with the spaghetti.
If you want, sprinkle with an extra dose of black pepper or a little grated lemon zest before serving.