Don't criticize the "Cacio e Pepe" in Rome. It's not a pasta dish, it's Rome!
It was born, like all typical Roman recipes, as a 'poor' dish. The shepherds, in the Lazio countryside, brought with them pepper (to stimulate the 'warmness') and dried spaghetti made with water and flour, for the combination of high-value calories to survive in the countryside. Not easy to cook...but few rules to follow. Chef Fratini tells us how to complete the Cacio e Pepe recipe.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
- 150g (5 oz) Pecorino cheese, finely grated
- 30g (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 180g (6 oz) pasta - ideally Spaghetti alla Chitarra
- Couple big twists of freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- In a pot of boiling salted water (not too salty, because the Pecorino and Parmesan cheeses are already salty), cook pasta until al dente
- Reserve ⅔ cup pasta water and then drain the pasta
- Put the spaghetti in a bowl with a bit of olive oil and mix it
- Add some of the pasta cooking water and some of the grated cheeses and mix until you get a nice cream
- Add black pepper to taste (we use Sawarak pepper)
- Plate the pasta, adding some additional grated cheeses and black pepper on top
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