By Sofia Gallo
"Cacio e Pepe" is a classic Italian pasta dish that translates to "cheese and pepper". This simple yet flavourful recipe makes a timeless dish that hails from Rome and brings together the bold flavours of Pecorino Romano cheese and the aromatic kick of freshly ground black pepper.
With just a handful of ingredients, Cacio e Pepe is not just a dish; it's an ode to the beauty of simplicity, a celebration of tradition, and a reminder that sometimes, the most extraordinary flavours arise from the humblest of ingredients.
Prep: 5 min + cooking of the pasta
Makes Ingredients for 4 people
- 320 gr preferred pasta. I used Mezze Maniche Rigate, preferably bronze cut
- 5 gr black pepper, freshly grounded
- 200 gr young Pecorino Romano – grated
- Sea salt
- Place a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a simmer, add the salt and cook your chosen pasta.
- In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add the freshly ground black peppercorn to a coarse grind and toast until their oil and fragrance is released, about 2-3 minutes.
- This dish is assembled really quickly, once the pasta is cooked transfer to the frying pan now over a low heat, add your cheese and add some of the starchy water, for the mantecatura.
- Reserve as much water as needed to create the creamy consistency.
- Serve into individual bowls and add more cheese and pepper if preferred. For more indulgence, why not to top the dish with a delicious burrata, sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil.
The water for the pasta should taste of the Mediterranean and should be enough for pasta to enjoy a waltz.
Try and use a young age pecorino, the traditional one has a black grind. It’s highly available in supermarkets, but don’t be tempted to buy the ‘ready grated one’, it won’t give you the same creaminess. Sichuan peppercorns are some of the best, but you can also try a different variant using 3 grains peppers for instance. Lastly, it is important to reserve that all important starchy water that will help you create the mantecatura you are looking for.
Did you know? Traditionally, the cheese and the peppercorns would be added to the pasta and served straight away, it is only recently that chefs have started creating the emulsion that we are all so accustom with. Buon appetito!