The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Cacio e Pepe

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Level: Easy

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Description

Only 4 simple ingredients (pasta, cheese,butter and black pepper) needed to make this easy Italian pasta dish. The process of adding back some of the pasta cooking water is what creates the velvety cheese sauce.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces, weight Bucatini Pasta (or Spahetti)
  • 1 teaspoon Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ¾ cups Finely Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Preparation

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions (We will be reserving some of the pasta water and removing pasta 1 minute before the recommended cooking time.)

If using butter, add butter and cracked pepper to a large sauce pan and heat over low heat until butter is melted (but not browned). Remove from heat. Set aside. If not using butter, add cracked pepper to a large sauce pan and set aside.

When pasta is about 3 minutes from being fully cooked, ladle about ½ cup of the pasta water into the saucepan with butter and pepper. Put pan back on low heat.

When pasta is about 1 minute from being fully cooked reserve about ½ to 1 cup pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the pan with butter, pepper and the previously added pasta water. Stir continuously until most of the pasta water has evaporated. Pasta should now be cooked al dente. (If necessary, add some of the reserved pasta water and continue cooking until pasta is al dente.)

Remove pan from heat and add cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is fully incorporated (1–2 minutes). If necessary, spoon in some of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce. The sauce should cling to the pasta and be creamy but not watery.

Serve immediately, garnishing with additional cheese and pepper, if desired.

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