CACIO E PEPE
If one pasta dish exemplifies the complexity of pan sauce precision, it's cacio e pepe (literally, cheese and pepper). The minimalist recipe calls for only a few ingredients and doesn't even include garlic. But the techniques outlined here elevate the dish to something magnificent. The creamy twirl of noodles is like a stripped-down mac and cheese-only more elegant and easier to make. No wonder it's on the menus of America's most stylish Italian restaurants. It's a simple standard by which cooks are measured, yet no two chefs agree on how to do it right. We sorted through the variations and found it works best with a mix of Grana Padano (velvety) and Pecorino (sharp) cheeses, and freshly cracked black pepper (you should taste the heat).
Provided by Oliver Strand
Categories Cheese Pasta Christmas Easter Quick & Easy High Fiber Father's Day Back to School Dinner Lunch Parmesan Winter Anniversary Shower Simmer Boil Bon Appétit Sugar Conscious Vegetarian Pescatarian Peanut Free Tree Nut Free Soy Free No Sugar Added Kosher
Yield Makes 2 servings
Number Of Ingredients 6
- Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5 quart pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
- Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.
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- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the foam from the butter subsides. Add the pepper and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add the pasta and up to 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, tossing to coat. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and continue to cook, tossing, until the cheese is melted and the pasta is well coated, about 2 minutes. Add a little more of the cooking liquid to loosen, if necessary. Season with salt and divide among 4 bowls. Serve with additional Parmesan and pepper.
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- Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt lightly. Add the pasta and cook until not quite al dente and still quite chewy, 5 to 6 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water, then drain.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When melted, add the garlic and 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water and bring to a simmer. Grind in a generous amount of pepper. Add the pasta and remaining 3 tablespoons butter to the skillet. Stir to combine and let the pasta start to simmer. Begin adding the Parmesan a handful at a time, tossing the pasta with each addition and adding more pepper if desired. Remove from the heat and continue to toss the pasta until well coated, thinning with the extra pasta water if needed. Taste and add more pepper if desired. Divide among bowls and garnish with the parsley. Serve with more Parmesan on the side.
CACIO E PEPE RECIPE - BBC GOOD FOOD
Cuisine ItalianTotal Time 15 minsCategory DinnerCalories 565 per serving
- Cook the pasta for 2 mins less than pack instructions state, in salted boiling water. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium frying pan over a low heat, then add the ground black pepper and toast for a few minutes.
- Drain the pasta, keeping 200ml of the pasta water. Tip the pasta and 100ml of the pasta water into the pan with the butter and pepper. Toss briefly, then scatter over the parmesan evenly, but don’t stir – wait for the cheese to melt for 30 seconds, then once melted, toss everything well, and stir together. This prevents the cheese from clumping or going stringy and makes a smooth, shiny sauce. Add a splash more pasta water if you need to, to loosen the sauce and coat the pasta. Serve immediately with a good grating of black pepper.
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#30-minutes-or-less #time-to-make #main-ingredient #preparation #5-ingredients-or-less #easy #pasta-rice-and-grains
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