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One of the most typical and appreciated pasta recipes is “cacio e pepe”, that is to say cheese and pepper. it’s smooth and delicious! 

It looks simple but it’s actually quite tricky. It’s not just pasta with some grated cheese! It’s much more! 

Pasta cacio e pepe

It’s typical from Rome, together with carbonara, amatriciana and gricia. All these recipes are not as easy as they seem because they require full respect of the products you use and of the basic rules. If you don’t strictly follow the recipe, the result will be mediocre. 

Are you ready? 

First of all I give you the ingredients you’ll need for feeding 4 people: 

  • 400 g spaghetti or tonnarelli 
  • 220 g pecorino romano 
  • 220 g water (the pasta water) 
  • 2 tablespoons of pepper grains 

The first thing you need to do, is making a pot of salted water boil. When it’s boiling, you put the spaghetti inside it. 

Take the pepper grains and smash them with a knife. They don’t have to be powder, that’s why we use the grains! 

In a pan, put the pepper grains and add half a ladle of the water where pasta’s cooking and let the pepper create an aromatic water. 

Drain the pasta very al dente (so almost 3 minutes before they are ready!) and put it in the pan where there is pepper infused with water. Let it cook. Slowly add 220 g of the water where you boiled pasta, mixing it so that it creates a smooth cream around pasta. Turn the heat off and put the grated pecorino.. Delicately mix the pecorino with the pasta, creating the creamy consistence which is typical from this recipe. 

Some specifications. It’s important using spaghetti or tonnarelli. They must be durum wheat pasta and not egg pasta. I’m perfectly aware of the fact that spaghetti are just durum wheat, but some foreign producers don’t! I saw some egg spaghetti somewhere that really pissed me off! 

You don’t need to put oil or butter! The fat part of the sauce is given by the pecorino. 

It’s important that pecorino is added when the fire is off. If the pan is too warm and the cooking water is boiling, the pecorino will coagulate ruining the result of the recipe, while if the pan and its content are “quiet”, the pecorino will create the smooth creamy consistence this sauce must have. 

Don’t add anything to this recipe: it has a poor list of ingredients but it doesn’t mean the final result is poor! Believe me! 

Cooking requires a lot of respect for ingredients! That’s very important! 

As you can see, it’s a quick recipe! It takes just the time that pasta requires to be cooked! So you can look very cool if one night after going to the movies, you invite your hungry friends at home and amaze them with this delicious pasta!

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      1. Wow! My sister came for dinner and she really loved it! she took it twice! good result for a first try!

  1. I’m grateful to find you blog. I’m an American and recently had the most wonderful carbonara pasta at a local Italian restaurant operated by Italian emigrants. I’ve never enjoyed pasta and I think it is because of all the heavy creams and sauces that are typically used. I thought of pasta as a heavy dish now that I can learn authentic Italian recipes I think I will enjoy pasta 😁

    1. Hello dear Jenn,
      I had to be absent for a while but I am finally back and soon you’ll find new posts! I am glad you could taste real Italian food and notice it’s not the stereotype that you often find abroad. No thick sauces cream and garlic everywhere. I am also happy that you enjoy my blog! Thanks sooo much!
      Which pasta did you eat? carbonara and…which other? I am curious.

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