An authentic recipe for a traditional Roman dish. Three ingredients - really tasty!
There are a lot of recipes out there for cacio e pepe - beware! This is the real deal: not only are there only three ingredients: spaghetti, cheese and pepper; but the important thing is how you cook it.
So, apologies to Jamie Oliver, Gennaro Contaldo, etc - but THIS is how you make real, authentic, traditional, TASTY spaghetti cacio e pepe
spaghetti - don't use tagliatelle, fettuccine or others: spaghetti handles this sauce beautifully
good whole peppercorns - supermarket peppercorns will do nicely, but the better the pepper...
Watch the video
Boil well-salted water and add the spaghetti - you can turn it down a bit - it doesn't have to keep boiling!
Set a timer for 8 minutes
Grind your peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, or - if you don't have that - put them in a plastic bag and batter them with a rolling pin. Or a light hammer if everything else fails!
You do not want to use a grinder: we want the peppercorns to be broken into different sizes - from powder up to cracked whole peppercorns
Pop the ground pepper into a dry, hot pan and toast them until you really smell the pepper. You might get a bit of smoke - get ready with the water!
Add a couple of ladles of water from the pasta - watch out for the hit of steam and pepper!
Stir it though
Grate the pecorino cheese into a bowl - I used 175g of cheese for 500g spaghetti
Add ladle of pasta water to the bowl and stir the cheese into a thick cream
At 8 minutes, transfer the pasta to the pan with the pepper
Don't drain the pasta, just tong it across with any water clinging to it. Keep the pasta water in the pot in case you need to add any to the pan
Cook the pasta for another 2 minutes in the pan, stirring the pepper water through it, and add more water if necessary
Add your bowl of pecorino/water cream and stir it through
Plate it up - you're done!
Sprinkle some fresh pepper and grated pecorino over the servings