Translated, this delicious pasta dish simply means, “cheese and pepper.” Don’t be fooled by its’ minimalism though; whatever Cacio e Pepe is lacking in quantity of ingredients, it makes up for in taste. Combine fresh pasta, Pecorino and Parmigiano cheeses, pasta water, and black pepper, and voila! There you have a warm, creamy, flavorful, and cost effective meal.
- 2 lbs. dry or fresh tagliatelle
- 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
- 2 TB coarsely ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Meanwhile, combine the cheeses in a small bowl.
2. Return the pasta to the pot (emptied of water) or a large saute pan. Working quickly, add a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water while sprinkling cheese, tossing the spaghetti to create a creamy sauce. Alternate adding pasta water and additional cheese to coat the pasta.
3. Add black pepper and season with salt; toss again. Be careful with the salt because the cheese has a good amount already. Transfer the pasta to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.