Traditional Italian Spaghetti “Cacio & Pepe”

Traditional Italian Spaghetti “Cacio & Pepe”

A must have to impress your diners.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 400g spaghetti (even better with tonnarelli or pici, as per italian tradition)
  • 160g grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Follow these steps:

First of all toast the peppercorns in a hot and dry pan until they’re fragrant, to release their essential oils and flavour (no fats needed). Then roughly crush them with a mortar or pounding them on the chopping board. 

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the salt, then add the pasta; stir occasionally and, 4 minutes before the cooking time, scoop out a big glass of water into a wide bowl. 

Put the cheese and ⅔ of the pepper in a large heavy bowl, then add very gradually some of the water previously taken off, to make first a paste and then a sauce (not too liquid though).

Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl; toss very energetically while adding enough of the water (you shouldn’t need all of it) to make a sauce that coats each strand. It may take a while, but keep insisting and it will happen. 

Divide between warm bowls, sprinkle over a little more pepper and serve immediately.

Fancy hint:

Tradition wants this dish prepared and served with black pepper. But, if you really want to impress your guests, try with the white one: they’ll be surprised not seeing the pepper in the dish but tasting it in their mouths! 

For an even more elevated experience try using a mix of pink peppercorns, Tellicherry and Szechuan.

Types of pepper used in this recipe:

Other types of pepper you can use with this recipe:

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