Pink Cacio e Pepe
Updated: Dec 25, 2020
December 27 2020
One of the simplest preparations for pasta, but in my opinion one of the best, is Cacio e Pepe. It means cheese and pepper, and those are two of the 5 ingredients in this pasta. The cacio (the second "c" is pronounced "ch" so it sounds like "kah-cheeoh eh peh-peh") used is typically Pecorino Romano cheese but I like adding in Parmesan so that the combination creates a wonderful flavor.
And, traditionally, cracked black peppercorns are used in this dish, but I love the idea of crushed pink peppercorns! The flavor is a little spicier and floral and the pink color is very pretty!
Begin by crushing the pink peppercorns. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can easily crush them by placing them in a zip-lock bag and using a meat mallet or rolling pin to accomplish the same thing. Don't crush them too fine; you want the crunchy little bits in each bite.
After you sauté the peppercorns in butter, you add a little pasta water, put the drained pasta back in the pan, add the two cheeses and you are ready to serve it! Enjoy!
Cacio e Pepe
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
10 ounces spaghetti, bucatini or Fusilli Bucati Lunghi (long pasta spirals)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2 to 3 tsp freshly cracked pink peppercorns
3/4 cup (70 grams) finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated Pecorino cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cracked pink pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the spaghetti and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts and the sauce coats the pasta. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Serve immediately.
Recipe from What's Gaby Cooking