One of my favorite Italian pastas is also the simplest, Cacio e Pepe. Traditionally it is spaghetti (cooked al dente), with cheese and a good amount of freshly ground good quality pepper. I must have had this three times during my trip to Rome. When you are expected to consume multiple courses (pasta being your first), this is the perfect starter dish to your meal. It is my go to meal if I am in a lazy cooking mood and maybe also borderline ready to just order Thai food. Normally I have all the ingredients, so it is hard to justify not making it. If I cook this as my main meal, I will also make an arugula salad with lemon juice and olive oil on the side. Buon Appetito! – ts
Chef’s note: since this is a simple dish, the better the ingredients the better the dish. Try using the best fresh pepper you can find and good quality cheese.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound bavette, speghetti or linguini fine
2 tablespoons butter
Cacio di Roma, for grating (pecorino is fine to use)
Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
- In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until it is almost smoking.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking liquid, and add to the saute pan with the oil. Add the butter and toss over high heat 1 minute.
- Grate plenty of cheese and black pepper over, add salt if necessary and serve immediately.