Simply delicious

Photo by Stacy Feyer-Salo

Sometimes the cupboards are bare just as the hunger strikes. What to do?

Well, one of the finest pasta dishes is an easy process away from satisfying a salivating mouth. Cacio e pepe, or cheese and pepper, uses ingredients found in most every kitchen and turns into a creamy finished plate.

  • Salt
  • 1 ½ cups finely grated pecorino Romano, plus more for finishing
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, plus more for finishing
  • ¾ pound long pasta like spaghetti
  • Good olive oil
  1. Put a pot of salted water on to boil.
  2. In a bowl, combine the cheeses and black pepper; mash with just enough cold water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste evenly in the bowl.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta. Just before it is perfectly al dente, transfer to the bowl, reserving a cup or so of the cooking water. Stir to evenly coat the pasta, adding a little olive oil and pasta water to thin the sauce, if necessary. The sauce should be creamy, not thin.
  4. On a plate, finish with grated cheese and fresh cracked black pepper.

This story can be found in the March/April 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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