Cacio e Pepe (aka Pecorino Pasta)

Seems so simple, tastes so good. From Cooks magazine.


6 oz Pecorino Romano cheese (4 oz finely grated, 2 oz coarsely grated)
1 lb spaghetti
table salt
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp finely ground black pepper


1. Place finely grated Pecorino in medium bowl. Set colander in large bowl.
2. Bring 2 qts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1½ tsp salt; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Drain pasta into colander set in bowl, reserving cooking water. Pour 1½ cups cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder; return pasta to the now empty bowl.
3. Slowly whisk 1 cup reserved cooking-water into finely grated Pecorino until smooth. Whisk in cream, oil, and black pepper. Gradually pour cheese mixture over pasta, tossing to coat. Let pasta rest 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting consistency with remaining cooking water. Serve, topped with coarsely grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Make sure to use Pecorino Romano, not the domestic “Romano”.
A food processor can be used to grate the cheese: cut the Pecorino into 2-inch chunks and process until finely ground (about 45 seconds.)
For a slightly less rich dish, substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream.
Do not adjust the amount of water for cooking the pasta. Stir the pasta frequently to ensure it doesn’t stick.


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