Cheese and Pepper Pasta (Cacio e Pepe)  


Cheese and Pepper Pasta (Cacio e Pepe)
adapted from Saveur
Serves 2

Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 lb. pasta, preferably tonnarelli, spaghetti or linguini
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
3/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
Parmesan cheese for the table

Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente, 810 minutes; reserve 3/4 cup pasta water and drain pasta. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a 12" skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add pepper; cook until fragrant, 12 minutes. Ladle 1/2 cup pasta water into skillet; bring to a boil. Using tongs, transfer pasta to skillet; spread it evenly. Sprinkle Pecorino Romano over pasta; toss vigorously to combine until sauce is creamy and clings to the pasta without clumping, about 2 minutes, adding some pasta water if necessary. Transfer to 2 plates and sprinkle with parmesan and more pepper, if desired