Italy has been my favorite place I have ever visited in my whole entire life. The culture, the atmosphere, the people, and the FOOD!
I have been dreaming about cacio e pepe since we got home 6 weeks ago and I decided to try my hand at making it, because it is just THAT good. Cacio e pepe translates to cheese and pepper, and that is nearly all that is in this recipe.
Italian food uses very few ingredients that are fresh and just cooked to perfection. Let me know what you think!
- 2 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 12 ounces bucatini pasta
- 7 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2-1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- Bring water and salt to a boil in a pot. Do not add any additional water, as you want the water to be starchy. Add bucatini pasta when water comes to a boil. Stir intermittently.
- Grate Pecorino cheese. Grate it as finely as possible! A microplane is preferred. For best results, do not use pre-grated cheese and do not grate more than half an hour ahead of use. In a bowl, add all but 1/2 cup of the grated Pecorino and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir and set aside.
- When the bucatini is al dente, drain pasta water in a large glass measuring cup or bowl, keeping bucatini in the pot on the burner. Do not worry about the pasta being too wet.
- Add 1 cup pasta water back to the bucatini and sprinkle in half of the cheese and pepper mixture over the top. Stir well, and quickly with tongs, toss so that the cheese melts and it becomes creamy. Add remaining half of cheese and pepper, along with another 1/2 cup pasta water. Continue to toss with the tongs. If your sauce begins to get lumpy, turn the heat on the burner to the lowest possible setting just for a minute, continually stirring, and it should smooth out. You can also add a little more water a couple tablespoons at a time.
- Transfer pasta to serving bowls, add remaining Pecorino and pepper as garnish, and serve immediately.