The beauty of Italian cuisine is how a handful of quality ingredients come together to create a taste that seems much more complex. Perhaps no other dish exemplifies this better than ‘cacio e pepe,’ a staple of local Roman cuisine. Literally translated as cheese and pepper, as the name implies, you really only need two ingredients to pull off this dish. It’s ideal for a busy work night or even for your next dinner party.
Frequently Tonarelli all’uovo, a fresh egg pasta is used but you can substitute with bucatini or spaghetti. The crucial component in cacio e pepe, however, is the cheese. Pecorino Romano is a must but try adding some Cacio de Roma as well to give the flavor another dimension.
Here is a simple Bucatini Cacio e Pepe recipe from our friends at the Hungry Travelers from their piece on Learning Roman Pastas. Buon appetito!
1 lb. bucatini
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
olive oil as needed
extra Pecorino Romano to taste
1. Cook pasta about 10 minutes in salted water.
2. While pasta is cooking, combine black pepper and grated cheese. Melt butter and add to cheese mixture, stirring well to combine. Add olive oil as needed to create a thick cheese sauce.
3. When pasta is cooked firm, drain and add to bowl of cheese sauce. Toss to coat.
4. Place on plate with large fork, twisting mixture tightly. Add extra cheese to taste.