Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Spaghetti with cheese and pepper is a really easy pasta recipe, but surprisingly good given its few ingredients. This great version is from Smitten Kitchen and serves four. For the record, it was so good that even the Engineer liked this spaghetti!

¼ cup olive oil
1 lb dried spaghetti (with or without gluten)
2 Tbsp butter (or lactose-free substitute)
4 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
1 ½ tsp finely ground black pepper

Cook the spaghetti in salted water to your tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. (You’ll have fewer dishes to wash if you use this pot to assemble the dish as well.) Drain spaghetti, reserving 1 ½ cups of the pasta cooking water.

Dry out your pot, then heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add drained spaghetti and 1 cup of reserved pasta water and jump back, this will splatter mightily.

Add butter, 3 oz cheese and ground pepper and toss together with tongs. Taste, adding more pasta water, cheese, pepper or salt (which should not be neccessary, as Romano is very salty) to taste.

Serve immediately, sprinkling with reserved cheese and an extra grind or two of black pepper.


Anonymous said...

We made this recipe just a few weeks ago also and were surprised by how nicely it turned out, especially with such simple ingredients.
If you eat a chunk of romano plain you'll understand why I'm surprised that it didn't overwhelm.
Also, this is one of those recipes that really shines with high quality ingredients, including real sheep's milk pecorino, high quality EVOO, and freshly grated black pepper.

Now to continue catching up on the 2-3 weeks of posts I missed while in New Orleans.

Amélie said...

I totally know what you mean about the taste of the romano - I'm also surprised that it didn't completely overpower the dish, but there you have it.
I'm glad you guys liked it!