Cacio e Pepe
Recipes like cacio e pepe can seem a bit silly because they require only a few ingredients but please, take the time to get the good stuff. Choose a long cut of pasta for the maximum surface area, which you'll need since the sauce is hardly a sauce at all!
- 1 pound of bucatini or spaghetti
- at least cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (it should be the Pecorino, according to the Romans who invented this dish, but we like Parmigiano just as much)
- anywhere from 2 tablespoons to a 1/4 cup of coarsely-ground black pepper (we like tellicherry peppercorns)
The most important part of this recipe is this - don't drain the pasta until you've reserved at least 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Cook the pasta in lots of salted boiling water to your liking - a nice bite is preferable in this recipe, so taste it often as it cooks. While it's cooking, in a large bowl combine the cheese and black pepper. When the pasta is done, either drain it or pull it straight from the pot with tongs and combine with the cheese/pepper mixture. Toss vigorously with a few splashes of hot pasta water until a sauce forms. Keep the tangle moving to prevent the cheese from clumping
Serve immediately in warmed bowls.