Cacio e pepe ("cheese and pepper") is a delicious and simple Roman pasta dish that's very quick to prepare. The fresh egg pasta only takes a couple of minutes to cook, and the rest of the preparation is nothing more than a quick stir.
All the quantities of the ingredients depend entirely on your personal taste: on a cold day try using a little extra black pepper and put a fire in your belly.
As is usually the case with Italian cooking, opinions on the exact recipe differ, but one of the best types of pasta to use for cacio e pepe is fresh tonarelli all'uovo. The thick pasta (as ever, be careful not to overcook it!) works perfectly. Another popular choice for this dish is spaghetti.
When you drain the pasta, remember to save some of the water to use in the sauce: just put a bowl under your sieve or colander.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (per person)
- 150g tonnarelli all'uovo, or spaghetti
- a heaped tablespoon of pecorino
- plenty of freshly ground black pepper
Start the water boiling and cook the pasta. Then drain it, remembering to save some of the water. Mix the cheese and the pepper in with the pasta, adding the water a drop at a time (you really won't need much) to help everything stick together. Serve with bread to mop up the cheesy, peppery goo.