Sunday, January 24, 2016
Fettuccine with Cheese and Black Pepper (Cacio e Pepe)
This recipe is just another proof of the culinary genius of the Italians. Simple and wonderful. I decided to share this recipe today as I think this is the kind of comfort dish that tastes particularly good on a cold winter day. Besides, it is the recipe that my son asked me to write down, so he could cook it one day, when he goes to college.
I never heard about this pasta until my last visit to Rome. My friend and host explained to me that it was in fact a very Roman dish and gave me the recipe. After I came back I made this pasta at home for my kids and instantly it became their most favorite pasta dish. Another simple and tasty dish that makes everyone happy.
There are basically two ingredients in this pasta black pepper and cheese. And again they should be of the best quality. Pepper should be full of flavor and fresh, Tellicherry would be most desirable, and cheese should be Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano, preferably imported. If you have these ingredients, a delicious dinner is ready in no time.
Fettuccine with Cheese and Black Pepper
3 tbsp coarsely, freshly ground black pepper, preferably Tellicherry,
2 tbsp olive oil,
2 tbsp unsalted butter,
1 lb fettuccine pasta,
1 cup freshly ground Pecorino Romano, plus some to finish,
1/2 cup tbsp freshly ground Parmigiano Reggiano to finish
Preparation: 1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until still firm but cooked.
2. Grind the pepper and cheese.
3. While pasta is cooking, heat butter and olive in a large frying pan. When bubbles appear add ground black pepper and fry while stirring continually for about 2 minutes until the flavor of the pepper is released.
4. Drain the fettuccine, saving about a cup of drained water.
5. Add pasta to the pan with pepper and toss it so it is covered with pepper. Add about 4 tbsps of the saved hot water.
6. Pour in both cheese and mix with pasta. If pasta is still too dry add extra water and mix. Serve immediately and finish with freshly ground Parmigiano Reggiano.