170g pasta – we used Lello Arso Casarecce but you can use whatever you fancy
60g unsalted butter, cubed, divided
2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper -you can tone this down (or up) based on your preference
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan
⅓cup finely grated Pecorino
Cacio e Pepe literally means cheese and pepper, if you’ve got those two things and approximately ten minutes (depending on pasta cooking time), then you can make this dish. It’s one of those recipes you can learn by heart and then whip up for a hungry group who shower you in ‘mMMMMMmmmms’ and ‘how do you MAKE this?’ throughout the meal. We’ve used Arso Casarecce, a unique pasta made from Grano Arso – literally ‘burnt grain flour’. It is said that the poorer 18th-century villagers who could not afford regular flour would collect the remaining grains left after burning the fields and mill them to create this unique product. It has a toasty, earthy nuttiness that’s perfect for simple sauces like this one.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Once at a roiling boil add in your pasta. Cook stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, melt 2/3 of the butter in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
Add ½ cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter.
Reduce heat to low and add parmesan, stirring until melted.
Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring 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.