Recipe Date: December 2nd, 2020
Measurements: Imperial (US)
Cacio e Pepe
From Laura in The Kitchen
- 8oz of Spaghetti
3oz of Finely Shredded Pecorino (see notes below)
1-1/2 tsp of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• Fill a pot with water, add a generous pinch of salt (not too much) and bring to a boil, add the pasta and cook 2 minutes shy of package instructions.
• In a large skillet (I prefer a non-stick heavy duty skillet here) add the ground black pepper, toast for about a minute, meanwhile reserve a couple of cups of starchy cooking water and set aside while you drain your pasta.
• Add 1/2 cup of the starchy water to the bowl of shredded cheese, stir and set aside.
• Add an additional 1/2 cup of the starchy water to the skillet with the pepper, then add the spaghetti (make sure the heat is on low) and start adding your cheese mixture, constantly stirring until Emulsified and adding any additional cooking water if needed. Continue the process until your sauce comes together.
This dish is one you need to practice, so many things can create a clumpy split mess so I hope these tips help avoid that. Make sure your cheese is grated finely using a Microplane and make sure it’s at room temperature. Keep an eye on the heat level, you might need to remove the pan completely from the burner to avoid overheating the cheese. Avoid using a thin metal pan, it gets way too hot and heats unevenly, most of the time I’ve tried making this dish in anything besides my heavy duty all clad non-stick skillet, it turned out a mess. Don’t over-salt your water, I know it looks like I added a lot of salt in the video but keep in mind I don’t use fine table salt, I use coarse kosher salt so it’s technically triple the size of a regular fine salt. This is a dish that needs to be eaten HOT, right off the stove and traditionally it should be served on warm plates to keep the sauce from setting and hardening the second it hits a cold surface. Use the best (imported if possible) pecorino Romano you can find, if you use a cheaper version or pre-shredded I can guarantee you it will clump in a second! I also use a bit more cheese but it’s easier to start with 3oz and once you have the technique down you can add another ounce. I hope these tips help, for such a simple dish it’s the technique that really matters and it does take some trial and error.
Enjoy and cheers!
Wine Pairing – Pinot Noir, Il Rubino