Sunday, May 10, 2015
Some good friends introduced us to the Roman dish - Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and pepper - in this case black pepper). It has very few ingredients, is simple to make but everything has to be just right. I made it this evening as a rehearsal for an event next weekend. Madame (who generally sneers at anything pasta) was blown away by this. So thank you Rocco and Judy.
2T kosher salt
6 oz bucatini - preferably extruded through bronze nozzles to get that slightly rough texture - ideal for holding sauce
1 1/2 cups Pecorino Romano - salty sheep's milk cheese
3 T butter (divided use)
1 t cracked black pepper
Bring 1 gallon of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until just shy of al dente (this is what makes it simple but not easy). Meanwhile, melt 2 T of butter in a large skillet. Add the cracked black pepper and toast the pepper until you can just smell it. Again, simple but not easy.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest. Add the drained pasta to the butter/pepper skillet. Add all but a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for a minute or so. Turn the heat down to low and add the cheese and remaining tablespoon of butter tossing quickly with tongs.
Serve in warmed bowls.