CACIO E PEPE transaltes in Cheese and Pepper. This is an extremely simple Roman dish, but there are a few precautions to take. The pasta should not be drained too much, and the dish must be served at once very hot. The heat of the pasta melts the cheese and enhances the flavor of the black pepper. As soon as the pasta begins cooling down, it will no longer taste as good.
1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated
black pepper, freshly grated from the mill
1 lb (450 g) spaghetti
Mix the grated pecorino romano cheese and a very generous quantity of black pepper freshly grated from the mill in a bowl.
Cook the spaghetti in abundantly salted water following manufacturer’s instructions, tasting for readiness from time to time. Before draining, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta boiling water.
When the spaghetti is al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked). drain the pasta into a colander, without shaking it too much, to keep the pasta moist.
Pour the pasta into a bowl, top with the cheese, and toss.
Add 1 or more tablespoon of the reserved cooking water. Toss thoroughly. Serve at once.