This is restaurant worthy pasta, made in a saute pan, 12″ size would be perfect . This pasta has very few ingredients and you probably have all of them in the house . When I am not sure what to make and I really don’t feel like going out, this is up there with my “go to ” meals. It’s comforting and has a kick of heat from the black pepper. Original recipe is just black pepper and the fresher the better, start out with whole black peppercorns, I grind them right before I am using them. It’s an elegant adult version of mac and cheese and a simple standard all at the same time. I try and use 2 cheeses when I can, but if you only have 1 type of grated cheese, it’s fine. Hold on to about a cup of the pasta water, you may need it if sauce is too dry, add a little at a time, as you need it. This recipe is quick and will feed 2 people nicely. If you want to serve more, just double the recipe. If black pepper is your thing Cacio e Pepe is for you.
8 oz. of spaghetti like pasta ( bucatini, linguine, perciatelli) most boxes are 1 lb. boxes , so app. 1/2 box I used perciatelli ( I love the ropey pasta)
3 tblsp. unsalted butter , cube it and divide it into 3 seperate tablespoons
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Cheese ( or just use Parmesan)
Cook pasta according to directions. Make sure you throw a small handful of kosher salt into the pot of boiling water, before you drop in the pasta. The pasta absorbs water as it cooks, so you’re actually seasoning the pasta which would ordinarily be a rather bland starch. Cook pasta till al dente , follow package instructions.
Meanwhile melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet , add the freshly ground black pepper and swirl around till melded, app. 1 – 2 minutes. Then let it sit, and turn off heat. Wait for pasta to finish cooking, remove 1 cup of pasta water and set aside and then continue with the next step.
Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring butter, water and pepper to a simmer. Add cooked pasta and remaining tablespoon of butter. Reduce heat to low and add 3/4 cup Grana Padano or Parmesan Cheese, stirring and tossing with a pair of tongs, until cheese is melted. Remove pan from heat, add additional 1/4 cup of cheese and toss until the cheese melts and sauce fully coats the pasta. Add more pasta water if sauce seems too dry. Transfer pasta to nice large bowls and serve.
Perfection in a bowl