Tagliatelle Cacio e Pepe
Having opened the pandora box of Italian recipes, this #homemadeMonday we decided to show you the most simple and delicious pasta recipe there is: spaghetti cacio e pepe. Except we replaced the spaghetti with tagliatelle and the pecorino cheese (cacio) with parmesan. A modern Roman cuisine inspired recipe, cacio e pepe is a pasta dish that requires only three ingredients: pasta, cheese and pepper.
If you´re not much into cooking and got quite excited at the thought of this simple recipe, I just want to say that while super simple, it is crucial you get high quality ingredients for this one. I used Barilla tagliatelle because they´re one of my favourite brands, a good parmigiano reggiano (since pecorino cheese is so hard to find in Portugal) and a nice mixture of peppers (I would have normally used tellicherry pepper but was out of it). What makes this recipe so special is the unique way in which you get to use the starchy water the pasta boils in, to bind the pepper and the cheese. Yum! That being said, let´s get to the recipe.
200 g of pasta (ideally spaghetti, tagliatelle or bucatini)
1 tablespoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup of pecorino cheese (alternatively parmesan or Grana Padano)
1. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta, cooking it until about 2 minutes before tender.
2. In the meantime, toast the freshly cracked pepper in a pan until it releases the aroma (you´ll be able to smell it, trust me). Add the toasted pepper into a grinder and once grounded, put it back into the pan. Add a couple of spoons of the starchy water where the pasta is boiling and bring the mixture to a boil.
3. Grate the cheese small and add some spoons of the boiling water on top of it as well, hereby turning it into a sauce.
4. Once the pasta is 2 minutes to tender, add it to the pan with the pepper and the water and boil until al dente. Add more of the pasta water if necessary and eventually the cheese sauce.
5. Season with more pepper if you´d like and enjoy with a nice glass of Orvieto or Vermentino white wine.