Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe : the original recipe

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Cacio e Peppe Original recipeSPAGHETTI CACIO E PEPE

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe is among the best known and appreciated Italian pasta recipes. It is a Roman classic recipe that is served in most of the restaurants, osterie and trattorie of the “Città Eterna”. 

The secret of this tasty and genuine recipe lies in its simplicity.
Apparently, it is a very easy recipe and the few ingredients are listed in the recipe’s name. In fact, to prepare this plate, you simply need spaghetti, cacio and pepe.
Cacio is the roman word for cheese and particularly for “Pecorino romano” cheese; ”Pepe” is pepper.

The uncertain origin of this recipe dates back several centuries, in different areas of central Italy, when shepherds used to spend long periods far from home. They used to bring with them food that could last for long time and with high nutritional value, like dry pasta, Pecorino cheese and peppers.
These ingredients were greatly combined to prepare a tasty meal.

Over the years, little variants of this recipe have been created by famous and less famous chefs by adding a personal touch like adding parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, using different pasta shapes rather than spaghetti…and so on.

However  the simple original recipe creates a perfect match between the Spaghetti and Pecorino romano cheese enriched by peppery notes… a flavorsome and genuine experience as it was initially conceived. 

Apparently the recipe is very easy, nevertheless it can be really tricky to prepare it properly. 

First of all, you need high quality Spaghetti which beside being exquisite, they are richer in starch. 

The cheese has to be Pecorino romano DOP, ideally medium-aged, which saltiness is perfectly balanced by the freshly ground pepper’s spiciness.

During preparation of Cacio e pepe, few seconds before pasta is ready, don’t forget to set aside some pasta cooking water. This hot water containing the pasta starch is essential to create the flavorsome coating sauce.

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients to serve 2 persons

  • Spaghetti “600.27 Carla Latini” 200g
  • Pecorino romano cheese about 100 g, freshly grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper

HOW TO DO IT 

  1. Cook your Spaghetti in abundant salty water (not too salty however, considering that the cheese itself is also quite salty).
  2. While pasta is cooking, grate the pecorino 
  3. Few seconds before pasta is cooked al dente, set aside a cup of cooking water and keep it boiling.  
  4. Drain the pasta using a colander. 
  5. Quickly pour the spaghetti into a bowl, add some pasta cooking water, the grated pecorino and freshly ground pepper. Vigorously stir and toss the Spaghetti. It is easier to add the cheese and adjusting the water a bit at a time until a nicely coating sauce is formed.   
  6. This step can be quite tricky, as the melting pecorino could clump instead of creating the creamy sauce coating the pasta. 
  7. It is important to be fast, perfectly dose the amount of hot water to create a smooth sauce avoiding to get watery spaghetti. 
  8. Rapidly plate the spaghetti, sprinkle with grated cheese and ground pepper, serve immediately.

Cacio e peppe ingredients - Italian classic recipes

Cacio e peppe - Classic Italian pasta recipes 

Buon appetito!

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