Bucatini “cacio e pepe”
Very few ingredients for a decadent and luxurious pasta dish. Here are our five littles secrets.
One of the most famous dishes in Rome
Bucatini cacio e pepe is a recipe of the Roman tradition. It is one of the most loved pasta recipes in the Capital. You will need just 3 ingredients, but be careful, the preparation doesn't allow mistakes! You will need bucatini, cacio (Pecorino Romano cheese), and pepper (better in grains). The other ingredient is, of course, the cooking water. The result is luxurious pasta: creamy, salty, and tasty.
Cheap, simple, fast
This incredibly delicious and rich pasta comes from an idea of old Roman sheepherders. Back in the day, they used to add their sheep's cheese to the pasta cooking water to create a creamy sauce, then added black pepper. So, you can prepare it in only 20 minutes. For 4 people, you will need 1 box of bucatini; 2 tablespoons salt; 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorn; 2 cups Pecorino Romano. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Crush the peppercorn in a grinder. Meanwhile, combine the Pecorino Romano, the pepper, and a couple of small scoops of warm pasta cooking water in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix these ingredients to form a creamy sauce. Add the cooked pasta. Serve right away, very hot. Complete with a sprinkle of fresh black pepper and grated Pecorino.
5 little tricks
The process is straightforward, however, 5 little tricks will make your pasta simply delicious, like what you would eat in Rome, in a lovely trattoria in Trastevere.
1. For this recipe, the cooking water of the pasta should be full of starch. So, cook your pasta in little water. This will allow the perfect "mantecatura," the art of mixing some ingredients to pasta or rice, to obtain a creamy consistency.
2. The pasta cooking water used for your cream should not be boiling hot; otherwise, the cheese will completely melt.
3. Choose the right Pecorino. You need a Roman pecorino with a maximum of 24 months of aging; otherwise, the flavor will be too strong.
4. Be careful with dry pasta. You need the starch that the pasta releases while cooking, so you need to use a quality pasta, "a bronze drawn." Bucatini is a long thick pasta. The bucatini means 'hole' because this pasta is a tube with a hole running through the center. It is perfect for absorbing the sauce. You can also choose spaghetti or tonnarelli.
5. Use black pepper, crush it, and then dry toast it in a non-stick pan. A chef-approved trick!
- Donatella Mulvoni