Cacio e pepe is a classic recipe from Lazio and is a very old and traditional one, you know, those kinds of recipes whose origin is lost in time. For sure we know that it’s a poor dish, but it is not difficult to imagine that considering that the ingredients that compose it are just three : spaghetti, cheese and black pepper.
If you ever pass by Lazio, grant yourself this treat in a trattoria or osteria, you won’t be disappointed. This is in fact one really typical dish of that region together with gricia and carbonara, and if you pay attention you’ll see it’s all about rustic and tasty cuisine with a very humble origin. In the case of cacio e pepe, we know that we owe it to the pastoral tradition: on the mountains of this beautiful regions, during grazing, shepherds carried behind with them the essential for a simple meal, dried pasta, black pepper and pecorino romano.
Before starting with this little wonder, let’s see some tips that can help you achieving a great result. If it is certain that this dish requires just few ingredients, it is also true that if you don’t make it right it can become quickly a sticky lumpy mess.
-First and most important, cacio e pepe is not simply pasta with cheese. In order for the cheese to dress the pasta, it has to become creamy. To achieve this, you are going to need the cooking water of your pasta which is rich in starch. If you don’t do it the right way, the danger is that the cheese “separates” from the pasta.
-Spaghetti, which are the pasta shape traditionally used, need to be cooked al dente or they will probably become sticky.
– Being a recipe with basic ingredients, the quality of those same ingredients is paramount. Try to use a good pasta brand, to grind the pepper at the moment and to use a good cheese.
-Spaghetti, water and cheese need to be mixed off heat, like it happens for the carbonara. It also needs to be served immediately.
It maybe looks a bit complicated, but it just requires a little bit of attention, and you’ll see, you’ll enjoy a really hearty, simple and delicious meal, the perfect example of comfort food!
Cacio e pepe – Spaghetti with cheese and black pepper
Ingredients (for two servings)
7 oz (200 gr.) spaghetti
3,5 oz (100 gr.) Pecorino Romano
In a big pot, bring abundant salty water to a boil and add spaghetti.
In the meantime, grind pepper and grate Pecorino in a bowl.
When pasta is ready (remember, al dente, so around 2 minutes before what the package indicates) move it to the bowl with a slotted spoon – don’t use a colander to drain it or you’ll lose the water and the pasta too will lose all its cooking water – and add around 2 spoonfuls of the cooking water and toss well and fast in order to amalgamate the cheese and the pasta.
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Cacio e pepe - Spaghetti with cheese and black pepper
Spaghetti cacio e pepe is classic delicious recipe that involves just three ingredients : pasta, cheese and black pepper!
- 7 oz (200 gr.) spaghetti
- 3,5 oz (100 gr.) Pecorino Romano
- Black pepper
- Step 1 In a big pot, bring abundant salty water to a boil and add spaghetti.
- Step 2 In the meantime, grind pepper and grate Pecorino in a bowl.
- Step 3 When pasta is ready (remember, al dente, so around 2 minutes before what the package indicates) move it to the bowl with a slotted spoon.
- Step 4 Add around 2 spoonfuls of the cooking water and toss well and fast in order to amalgamate the cheese and the pasta.
- Step 5 Serve immediately.