Just three ingredients. It looks so simple and it is simple, but it tastes amazing. Cacio e pepe literally means cheese and pepper, so aside from water and salt the only ingredients are pasta, cheese and pepper.
Here's all you need for this amazing, 20 minute meal:
300 grams bucatini (or spaghetti)
100 grams pecorino romano cheese
white pepper (or black pepper)
Bucatini is like a thick spaghetti with a hollow centre. It is perfect for this recipe, creating a kind of high-class macaroni and cheese.
Pecorino Romano is a hard Italian sheep's milk cheese with a similar texture to parmesan but a stronger flavour.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the bucatini according to package directions.
While the pasta cooks, shred the Romano cheese.
Before draining the pasta, save a cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to the pot and return the pasta to the pot. If you have a non-stick pot, that would be good for this next part.
Add the cheese to the pot and stir until the cheese and pasta water coat the pasta as a thick sauce. If necessary, add more pasta water to thin the sauce and help it combine. Sprinkle with pepper.
Serve the pasta sprinkled with more pepper (and cheese if desired). The white pepper gives a cleaner look and a slightly milder taste, but black pepper works well too.
This is so delicious and so simple. It makes a great meal with a crisp green salad on the side. Try it!