Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper (Cacio e Pepe)

From America's Test Kitchen Season 11: Simply Italian

Why this recipe works:

For cheesy cacio e pepe recipe that was also creamy and smooth, we swapped butter for heavy cream, whose lipoproteins encouraged the protein and fat molecules in the sauce to bond rather than separate.

For cheesy cacio e pepe recipe that was also creamy and smooth, we swapped butter for heavy cream, whose lipoproteins encouraged the protein and fat molecules in the sauce to bond rather than separate.

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Serves 4 to 6

High-quality ingredients are essential in this dish, most importantly, imported Pecorino Romano—not the bland domestic cheese labeled “Romano.” Use the small holes on a box grater to grate the cheese finely and the large holes to grate it coarsely. Alternatively, a food processor may be used to grate it finely: Cut the Pecorino into 2-inch pieces and process until finely ground, about 45 seconds. For a slightly less rich dish, substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream. Do not adjust the amount of water for cooking the pasta. Stir the pasta frequently while cooking so that it doesn’t stick to the pot. Letting the dish rest briefly before serving allows the flavors to develop and the sauce to thicken.

Ingredients

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