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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spaghetti Alla Cacio E Pepe


This is one of my very favorites! You have to invest in the right cheese though for this. This is so good you don't want to cut corners on the cheese. Imported Pecorino Romano is the key ingredient . It is made with sheep's milk and has a very distinctively pungent, salty flavor that has no resemblance to domestic cheeses simply labeled Romano. They are made with cow's milk and will lack the punch you want from the real deal!


Spaghetti Alla Cacio E Pepe  (with cheese & pepper)

6 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese,  4 oz. finely grated (about 2 cups) and 2 oz. coarsely grated (about 1 cup) (see note)
1 pound spaghetti
   table salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream (see note)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper

Place finely grated Pecorino in medium bowl. Set colander in large bowl.

Bring 2 qts. water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 1/2 tsp. salt; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Drain pasta into colander set in bowl, reserving cooking water. Pour 1 1/2 cups cooking water into liquid measurng cup and discard remainder; return pasta to now empty bowl.

Slowly whisk 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water into finely grated Pecorino until smooth. Whisk in cream, oil, and black pepper. Gradually pour cheese mixture over pasta, tossing to coat. Let pasta rest 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting consistency with remaining 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Serve, passing coarsely grated Pecorino separately.

NoteUse small holes on a box grater to grate the cheese finely and the large holes to grate it coarsely. Alternatively, a food processor may be used to grate it finely: Cut the Pecorino into 2 inch pieces and process until finely ground, about 45 seconds. For a slightly less rich dish, substitute half and half for the heavy cream. Do not adjust the amount of water for cooking the pasta. Stir the pasta frequently while cooking so that it doesn't stick to the pot. Letting the dish rest briefly before serving allows the flavors to develop and the sauce to thicken.

Enjoy! Let me know how you like it!
This is linked to Weekend Cooking @ Beth Fish Reads!
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25 comments:

  1. Yummmmmm!!!! And how easy, easy is that. As fast as the pasta cooks, dinner is done. Crusty bread and a lovely salad and call it a day.

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    1. Beth, that's why I love pasta so much! so much you can do with so little and so quick:)

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  2. One of my favorites, too. With lots of pepper!

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  3. This would be a died and gone to heaven dish for me...where is my fork?

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    1. We must carry it with us at all times, Caite!

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  4. I first learned of Pecorino Romano from my Italian grandmother... it was the ONLY cheese she would put on her fresh pasta! Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. An Italian grandma! How lucky you are JoAnn! Share her recipes please!

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  5. it so happens I just bought a big chunk of pecorino... thanks for the pin button, it's so much easier for me!!!

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    1. Pinterest is wonderful for recipes isn't it Patty! God bless whoever invented it!

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  6. I love caico e pepe! Such a simple dish yet so delicious! I think Mario Batali's version doesn't even use cream. I think he just uses the starchy pasta water and it's still delicious.

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    1. Beth, I love pasta with cream n the recipe the most!

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  7. I've never heard of this yummy combination before, it sounds like a warming autumn/winter kind of dish that sticks to the ribs :-)

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  8. I managed to buy the cheese in the first supermarket I tried, I was very surprised. I'm probably about the last to hear about it! I'll be cooking this one soon, it sounds delicious.

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  9. I am very variable about pasta - I need to adopt your approach to see if I can get better results. Have a great weekend.

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  10. Mmmmm, must look for pecorino romano. You've made me so hungry :)!

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    1. I would eat pasta every night of the week if I could, Jama.

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  11. Yum! I love pasta with just a few simple additions, and pecorino is good.

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  12. Nice change from Parmigiano. Looks so good, too.

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  13. I haven't made this in a long time. Your recipe is perfect for Meatless Mondays.

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  14. I'm making a note to myself to buy the good cheese during my next shopping trip. Must try this soon - it looks so simple and delicious!

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  15. That sounds delicious -- and oh, so rich!

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