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Spaghetti con Pepe

Spaghetti with Pepper. Four ingredients: spaghetti, black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese and a splash of olive oil. One pot and a strainer/colander.

My version of spaghetti cacio e pepe does not require making a cheese sauce which makes the pot so much easier to clean. And though the four ingredients sound easy and every-day, this dish just isn’t good unless you crack the pepper and grate the best-quality Pecorino Romano you can find.

1 lb. spaghetti pasta
1 Tablespoon freshly-cracked black pepper (or more)
2 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Boil pasta, according to package directions or until al dente. Meanwhile, grind black pepper corns to a medium grind. Grate Pecorino Romano cheese on the finest blade on your grater. Just before draining pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the hot cooking water. Drain pasta in colander. Heat olive oil in cooking pot for a few seconds and remove from heat. Place the drained pasta back into the cooking pot with the olive oil and reserved water. Toss in the freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to coat. Serve immediately, sprinkled very generously with the grated cheese.

Serves four or more.