Cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), is a traditional dish from Lazio. In the ancient times shepherds used to go away for the transhumance for months with their livestock and, during those months, they used to carry preserved food that can be cooked easily: pecorino cheese, dried pasta and black pepper.
I’ve always thought that simple is best, and this is the proof! This dish is made with just three ingredients but it is incredibly tasty and nutritious besides, after a couple of times, you will get used to it and the preparation will be easier.
You might think I’m crazy, but this is one of the most difficult dish I’ve ever made. It’s tough to get the perfect texture with the cheese, it depends on how it’s grated, how much is matured and how much cooking water you add. But don’t worry, the more you cook it the easier it gets. Some people use oil flavored with pepper, stir fry the pasta and then add the pecorino but, for me, the perfect way to make cacio e pepe is the following:
- 400gr of spaghetti
- 200gr of grated pecorino romano
- 1 tbsp of black pepper
Bring the water to a boil and cook the spaghetti.
Drain the pasta, and remember to set aside a cup of cooking water.
Put the spaghetti in a large bowl and add cheese, pepper and a little water. Mix vigorously and quickly until the cheese becomes creamy. Serve it hot.