Cacio e Pepe

this classic Roman dish takes all of 5 minutes to make.

serves 4

8 ounces spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cracked fresh pepper
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Bring a heavy pot of salted water to a boil and boil the spaghetti until very al dente.  Do not overcook. (If I use Barilla thin spaghetti, I cook it for exactly 4 minutes, less than what the package instructions are).

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with the olive oil.  Add the cracked pepper and gently saute for a  few minutes, letting the pepper infuse the oil. Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool a bit.

With tongs, remove the boiled pasta and place right into the skillet (do not drain the pasta water).  Swirl to coat with the olive oil and pepper. Let the pasta cool a bit, so the cheese doesn't clump up from the heat.  Add the cheese and continue swirling the pasta to coat with the cheese.  If it is too dry, add a tablespoon of the pasta water and continue to coat the pasta.  Add more cheese and keep stirring.  If it is still too dry, add another tablespoon of pasta water.  Add more cheese and stir.

Serve immediately.

The Italian Dish