If you’ve been to Italy, maybe you’ve tasted the cacio e pepe pasta, which is pasta with pepper and cheese. It is very good. As it is a specialty of the Roman cuisine, you have to use the local cheese, Pecorino Romano, and nothing else if you don’t want to risk the screams of your guests.
After me, if you put Parmesan cheese in it, I won’t blame you but I’m taking a crazy risk by telling you that. I’m risking a “cacio & pepe gate”, a bit like if I dared to put cream in carbonara (OhMOnDieu) :p
Anyway, the pepper and cheese pasta, try it, it’s really good.
Cacio e Pepe pasta recipe
- 400 g pasta (spaghetti)
- 4 liters of water
- 28 g of salt (be careful, this is not a joke)
- 160 g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground pepper, depending on your taste
When you cook pasta, as I already told you in this article (pasta, existential questions), you have to remember the 3-digit rule: one, ten, one hundred! For 1 liter of water, you need 10 g of salt and 100 g of pasta. I advise you to use only 7 g of salt per liter of water because the cheese is salty. #logic
So bring the 4 liters of salted water to a boil and put the pasta in. Respect the cooking time indicated on the package (al dente please).
Mix the grated Pecorino and pepper in a bowl.
Drain the pasta and reserve about 1 glass of cooking water. Put the pasta back into the pan, add the cheese and pepper mixture and 100 ml of the cooking water. Mix well, heating gently for one minute; it should create a delicious creamy sauce. If there are lumps, add a little more cooking water.