Friday, July 16, 2010

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Patrick made this last night for an easy, family dinner. I thought that it was excellent. Since it is so simple, you must be sure to have great ingredients--really good, imported pecorino and good pasta--try DeCecco brand.
The authentic cacio e pepe does not call for milk or cream, just olive oil, grated pecorino, and pepper.  Patrick made this with whole milk and without olive oil. This gives a very creamy result. I love it either way!

You can serve this, naturally, as the pasta course in an Italian meal followed by a meat or fish course, or this could be the main course accompanied by a salad or vegetable for a simpler meal.

Serves 3-4

1 lb spaghetti
1/2 lb grated pecorino
1 cup whole milk or 1/2&1/2
lots of freshly ground black pepper

While the pasta is cooking in copious amounts of salted water, heat the milk in a saucepan. Turn off the heat and add the grated pecorino to melt. Toss with the drained, cooked pasta.  Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper, salt to taste.

To make this without milk. Drain the pasta, but reserve some of the cooking water.  Toss the pasta with 1/4  cup of extra virgin olive oil and the cheese.  Add some of the cooking water a little bit at a time, stirring the pasta until you achieve a creamy amalgam of deliciousness.  Add salt and lots of black pepper.

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