Friday, February 12, 2016

Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper; Cacio e Pepe

(2 servings)

When I think about something indulgent for Valentine's Day, chocolate is not the first thing that comes to mind. I think of cheese, a nice sharp, salty cheese with pasta.

This simple spaghetti dish will transform into something absolutely superb if you use the best possible ingredients available to you. The pepper needs to be freshly cracked, and the Pecorino Romano should be grated right before it's combined, otherwise this dish will fall short of its potential.

I've given up trying to create a thin cheesy sauce with butter, cream or pasta water for this dish. I usually fail and end up with huge clumps of sticky pasty spaghetti. I suspect at some point I probably become impatient. Simply tossing the drained spaghetti with the grated cheese and black pepper couldn't be easier and the resulting dish is nice looking and clump free.

6 oz dried spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (about 2 oz)
3/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in the olive oil, then add the pasta and cook until al dente. Check the package for cooking times.

While the spaghetti is cooking, toss together the Pecorino Romano and cracked pepper until the mixture is evenly combined. Set aside.

Drain the spaghetti thoroughly, but don't rinse. Lightly toss with tongs or a large fork for about 30 seconds to shake off excess water.

Place about a quarter of the spaghetti into a serving dish and sprinkle with a quarter cup of the cheese and pepper mixture. Toss. Repeat until everything is well combined.

Divide between bowls and serve immediately.


Gerlinde de Broekert said...

Simple, but oh so good. I love pasta like this!

Sippity Sup said...

Pecorino gets to be the star for a change! GREG

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