Cacio e Pepe Pasta
This classic Roman pasta easily ranks up there as one of my all-time favourite comfort foods. Chef Anthony Bourdain once said that Cacio e Pepe “could be the greatest thing in the history of the world.” That's quite a compliment considering it only takes a few ingredients and 30 minutes to make!
1/2 pound (about 250g) linguine
1 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano or good Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt, for pasta water
Glasses & Grape Spanish Picual EVOO
Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large mixing bowl, combine the grated Pecorino Romano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Mix them together to create a homogeneous mixture.
Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1 a cup of the pasta cooking water. This starchy water will help create a creamy sauce.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and immediately add it to the bowl with the cheese and pepper mixture. Toss the pasta to combine, allowing the heat of the pasta to melt the cheese. If the mixture seems too dry, gradually add some of the reserved pasta water, tossing continuously until you achieve a creamy consistency.
If needed, add a bit more pasta water until you achieve the desired creamy sauce consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt if necessary.
Plate the Cacio e Pepe pasta, drizzling a bit of extra virgin olive oil over each serving. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley for a burst of colour and freshness.
Serve immediately while the pasta is hot, savouring the simplicity and bold flavours of this classic Roman dish.