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Recipe  •  21 March 2022


Cacio e pepe

Try your hand at this simple yet delicious dish from Joshua Weissman.

Yet another insanely simple pasta dish. Somehow the Italians have figured out the true beauty in simplicity within food. Essentially this is just cheese, pepper, salt, and pasta; and it creates a symphony of simple flavours that make Italian cuisine the king that it is.

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes

  • Kosher salt, to season
  • ½ lb (225g) uncooked bucatini or spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp (6g) freshly cracked
  • coarse black pepper
  • 1 cup (248g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more to serve
  • ½ cup (118g) freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Freshly shaved black truffle (optional), to garnish

Bring a large pot of water seasoned very generously with salt to a boil. (It should be VERY salty, nearly as salty as the ocean.) Cook the pasta until just under al dente, about 1 minute for fresh pasta and 7 minutes for dried. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1½ cups (350ml) of the pasta water and drain the pasta.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the pepper and toast for about 30 seconds.

Add 1 cup (250ml) of the reserved pasta water. Bring to a simmer, and add the semi-cooked pasta to the saucepan. Let simmer vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about 75 percent. (Add more of the reserved pasta liquid if the liquid reduces too fast.)

Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano. Using tongs, mix and toss vigorously until all of the cheese is evenly distributed and melted and a creamy sauce has formed. Turn off the heat.

Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with more freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and top with freshly shaved black truffle (if using). Enjoy!

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