Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe: This recipe made with pecorino cheese is a symbol of good and genuine food
Carbonara, Amatriciana and Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe have now become dishes that symbolize the Italian spirit of good food, linked to the traditions and regions from which they come – an excellence that has passed from the “checkered tablecloths” to the kitchens of great chefs. We too would like to pay tribute to one of the symbols of good and genuine food and show you how to prepare a perfect Cacio e Pepe recipe!
Table of Contents
Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe – Recipe with Pecorino Cheese and Black Pepper
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 min
- (320 g) Spaghetti
- Black pepper to taste
- (200g) Pecorino Romano Cheese – medium seasoned, for grating
- Fine salt to taste
The secret lies not only in the chemical combination of water and pecorino proteins to obtain a lump-free sauce, but also in the taste: whole peppercorns that are crushed and thrown into the pan release their hot aroma. The pasta is whisked slowly and in a controlled manner to absorb all the flavor of the pecorino romano.
How to cook spaghetti with cheese and pepper?
To prepare Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe recipe, start by grating the pecorino cheese. Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan (use about half the amount you normally use when cooking pasta so the pasta contains more starch) and when the water is boiling, salt it to taste. Once the water is salted, you can cook the spaghetti. Meanwhile, dump the whole peppercorns onto a cutting board and crush them. This releases more of the pungent scent of the pepper.
In a large non-stick skillet, add half the crushed pepper, toast over low heat while stirring with a wooden spoon, add a few tablespoons of the pasta water. The bubbles you see rising are from the starch in the water. Drain the spaghetti. When they are al dente (save the cooking water for later use), add the pasta directly to the pan with the roasted pepper and continue cooking with the spices.
Stir the pasta constantly with tongs to help it “breathe,” and add a ladle or two of water, if needed, to continue cooking. Only add a ladleful of water when needed (when you see the pan is almost completely dry) and stir with kitchen tongs. In the meantime, when the pasta is ready, prepare the pecorino sauce (do not start this beforehand or the sauce will be too thick).
Spaghettata di Mezzanotte – the quick, classic recipe can be found here!
Final step of the recipe – prepare Pecorino sauce
Place about half of the grated pecorino cheese in a bowl. Add a ladleful of cooking water to the grated cheese. Stir vigorously with a whisk, adding more water if needed. Then add the remaining half of the pecorino cheese, reserving a small amount for garnish. Add a little more water if necessary: at this stage you need to carefully adjust the amount of pecorino cheese to the water to get a sauce with the right consistency and without lumps.
Finish cooking your pasta and add a little more hot water if necessary. Before adding the pecorino sauce, give it a quick stir by holding the bowl over the steam from the pan of hot water, stirring constantly with the whisk to bring the sauce to a similar temperature to your pasta if necessary. Turn off the heat under the pan with the spaghetti and pour in the pecorino sauce.
As you pour the pecorino sauce onto your spaghetti, stir constantly with tongs, pour in the reserved pecorino cheese and stir to coat the spaghetti.
Transfer your spaghetti Cacio e Pepe on a plate and season with the remaining pepper, enjoy immediately in all its creaminess!
Storage: We recommend consuming Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe immediately. Storage is not recommended.
The original recipe for spaghetti aglio e olio can be found here!