Authentic Cacio e Pepe
This three ingredient cacio e pepe recipe is as authentic (but as foolproof as it gets). It has been adapted from my neighborhood restaurant in Rome (also Anthony Bourdain's favorite!) . Dig in.
see substitutions in post
freshly ground and coarse
reserved from cooking pasta
pecorino romano cheese
freshly grated and divided, 3 tbsp for garnish
Bring half a gallon of water to boil (roughly 1.85 liters, i.e. 7-8 cups of water) and add pasta in - cook the pasta to direction (typically about 8 to 10 minutes for
As pasta cooks, grate cheese using the smallest hole on your grater
Add the cheese and pepper to a food processor along with a tbsp of cold water and pulse until forms a "lumpy" mixture (or use a fork)
If you don't have a food processor, add about 2 tbsp of cold water at a time to the cheese and whisk using a fork or whisk until cheese becomes saucy
With 2-3 mins remaining (so ~5 minutes after putting pasta in), remove 2-3 tablespoons of pasta water.
Drain the pasta and add cheese paste - make sure to coat evenly (one trick here is to add a portion of the pasta, and then a tbsp of the paste, mix, and then repeat - check post for detailed visuals)
Before adding the final layer of pasta, mix the reserved pasta water with the cheese paste and use this to coat the pasta
Serve hot with a grind of coarse black pepper and a sprinkle of
Use the right amount of water - the key for making the sauce perfect is getting the optimal starch content in the pasta water. So, you need to measure your water!
Use a long, thick and hollow pasta if possible - long pasta helps coat the cheese sauce evenly and keeps it delicious!
One optional step is to toast the pepper before you add it to the cheese - this can help bring out the flavors even more
Once you add the cheese, if the pasta feels like it's clumpy, you can add some of the water you reserved to make sure that the pasta is coated evenly
Authentic Cacio e Pepe by Shruthi Baskaran @ Urban Farmie