In Italian this dish sounds much more exotic. It’s called cacio e pepe which in English is just plain old cheese with black pepper. Although the ingredients may be plain and simple the taste is anything but. You will marvel that such luxury can be created from so little. It’s the perfect meal for this time of year because it is quick and filling and can easily be made using the ingredients in your cupboard. Just the sort of dish to turn to when it is so cold that you do not even want to leave the house to go to the shops.
Don’t try and add anything to this recipe. Its beauty is its simplicity. Anything more and it becomes something else entirely. However, in true Italian style the dish depends on is using the best quality ingredients you can. Buy the most expensive Parmesan cheese you can afford and make sure you use freshly cracked black pepper and your cacio e pepe will be worthy of any Italian table.
200g dried spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup Parmesan finely grated
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt to taste
1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and then cook the spaghetti until al dente or to the tooth.
2. Drain the spaghetti keeping aside 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.
3. Dry the saucepan and put it back over a high heat adding the oil.
4. Once the olive oil is smoking hot add the drained spaghetti and cooking water quickly and jump back straight away as the water and oil will splash up and can burn.
5. Add most of the Parmesan, butter, black pepper and salt, by this time the water should mainly have evaporated so and take the spaghetti off the heat. Mix with a wooden spoon and the oil, water and cheese should come together to form a light sauce.
6. Sprinkle with the leftover Parmesan and some extra black pepper to serve.