|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||18%|
|Total Carbohydrate 34g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||9%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
It's true: You can have a delicious dinner on the table in 15 minutes with this staggeringly quick three-ingredient cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) recipe. Simply boil a pot of spaghetti, grate a chunk of cheese, and crush toasted peppercorns. The result is a creamy pasta sauce that packs a punch, thanks to the coarsely ground black pepper.
Cacio e pepe originated in Rome, and though simple in its making, relies heavily on the quality of ingredients. The cheese must Pecorino Romano; nothing else will work as well. Seek this out—you will be glad you did. Pecorino is salty and tangy, but more importantly melts very quickly, which is what makes this recipe so quick to make.
Use regular spaghetti, but if you can find it, tonnarelli, also known as spaghetti alla chitarra, will make for a thoroughly authentic experience.
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
14 ounces spaghetti
1 1/2 cups pasta cooking water, reserved for sauce
1 cup Pecorino Romano
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Heat a heavy skillet on the stove over high heat. Tip in the peppercorns and gently shake the pan over the heat for 1 minute.
Transfer the peppercorns to a mortar and pestle and crush well; you do not want a powder, the peppercorns should have a little bite to them. Alternatively, crush them under the weight of the heavy-bottomed skillet. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, and add the spaghetti or your chosen pasta. After 5 minutes of cooking, pour 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water into a large, heat-proof bowl and allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Let the pasta continue cooking according to the package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, using a small whisk and whisking continuously, slowly add the water to the cheese to create a thick, creamy sauce.
Once you have your creamy sauce, add almost all the crushed pepper, reserving a little for garnish.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and tip into the bowl with the cheese and pepper sauce. Stir thoroughly to coat and garnish with additional freshly cracked pepper.