Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pasta cacio e pepe | A kitchen in Rome

You always remember your first time: Rachel Roddy hails the classic Roman three-ingredient pasta dish

Of all the classic Roman pasta dishes, cacio e pepe was the one I tasted first – and still the one I like best. It has just three ingredients: pasta, cacio (aka pecorino romano) and freshly cracked black pepper. In cooking, though, the pasta creates another ingredient: the cloudy cooking water slightly thickened with starch that has seeped from the pasta as it boils. This cooking water is a sort of culinary negotiator, melting and then emulsifying the cheese into rich, creamy sauce on the strands of pasta.

Unsurprisingly, there are as many ways and opinions about how best to make a cacio e pepe as there are cooks. Some like to add a little olive oil; others have ways with double boilers and grated ice, which, as far as I can see, require the almost gloopy starchy water of a trattoria pasta cooker and the wrists of a chef. But one thing people seem to agree on is that the enemy of cacio e pepe is chilly china – that is, cold plates – which can make the cheese clump into almost plasticine-like blobs from which there is no coming back. Happily, it is an enemy easily overcome by warming the vessel in question. Most agree, too, that the smaller the quantity, the better the result. With this in mind, here are two ways to prepare two main-course portions of cacio e pepe.

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from Food & drink | The Guardian http://ift.tt/2EFfx4O
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