Cacio E Pepe (Cacio Pepper) Pasta Recipe
How To Make Cacio E Pepe
- Grind your fresh pepper
- Boil a large pot of salted water, add spaghetti, cook till aldente
- Toast your ground pepper for 3 minutes in a pan until fragrant.
- Now add half a ladle of pasta water to the toasted pepper pan, Cook on high for 30-45 seconds,
- Time for the pecorino, add it (and a little parmesan) into a bowl, add half a ladle of pasta water and stir to make a creamy sauce.
- Add the slightly under al dente spaghetti and the pecorino cream sauce to your hot pepper reduction pan, quickly toss and stir gently to combine. Add a little pasta water if needed.
- When the spaghetti is cooked (about a minute) and the creamy sauce has thickened slightly, the Cacio e Pepe is ready.
- Divide into 2-3 plates, top with a sprinkle of black pepper and pecorino cheese.
A quick History Of Cacio E Pepe
Cacio e Pepe recipe is one of the most ancient and now famous pastas in the world and dates back to the Roman Empire!
The story goes that Italian sheep farmers would spend the months of spring and summer herding and grazing their sheep through the rolling hills of the Apennine Mountains. Traveling many miles on foot over rough and steep terrain, the necessity to travel light meant the shepherds would bring with them only dried homemade pasta and black pepper for sustenance, easy-to-carry ingredients, and hard to spoil.
As they made the trip over the mountains the farmers would drink work with what they had and make cacio or pecorino cheese from their sheep’s milk. The combination of these two ingredients high up in the mountains bought about the creation of Cacio e Pepe.
For each meal, our Italian sheep farmers would they’d boil pasta, then make that signature sauce by grating fresh cacio or pecorino into some of the pasta cooking water.
Can Cacio E Pepe be made ahead of time?
Simply put NO
Can Cacio E Pepe is super quick to make, with only a handful of ingredients and steps it’s always best to make it fresh and eat it straight away?
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2 tsp black peppercorns
200g spaghetti (or pici, or tonarelli, if you can find them)
80g pecorino romano, at room temperature, finely grated
- Place a pot of water on the boil and season well with salt and pepper
- Once your pot of water comes to a boil add your pasta
- While pasta is cooking, grind fresh black pepper into a pan and toast in a pan on medium heat until fragrant (5-8 minutes)
- Once your black pepper is toasted add 1/2 cup of pasta water to your toasted black pepper pan and reduce for 1 minute.
- In a mixing bowl add 2-3 tbs of pasta water to your pecorino and mix thoroughly with a spoon or your hands until it resembles a dough-like consistency.
- Cook your pasta until it’s 80% cooked through then using tongs transfer the pasta from your boiling pot to your peppery water pan. Cook and toss your pasta for another 2 minutes until your pasta is cooked through then take off the stove.
- crumble your pecorino dough through your pasta and give it another good mix and toss, toss for 5 minutes until your pecorino has resolved and your pasta is creamy.
- Finish with more pepper, serve while hot
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