Cacio e Pepe
Servings: 8 | Time: 35 minutes
Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Roman dish – simple to whip up for lunch, a quick dinner, or in the case, a side dish. It couldn’t be simpler to prepare: The sauce is combination of Parmesan cheese and the pasta’s starchy cooking liquid. We added a little butter to the sauce for extra richness. This is your new mac ‘n’ cheese. If you’re feeling ambitious, make your own pasta (recipe included).
Cacio e Pepe:
- In large pot of boiling water salted with 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt add pasta. Cook according to package directions (or 2 to 3 minutes if using fresh) or until pasta is al dente (pasta will finish cooking when combined with sauce).
- Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Add reserved water to pot. Return pot to stove over medium-low heat. Add Parmesan and butter to pasta water. Continue to cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly until Parmesan turns to creamy sauce. Add pasta to sauce; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
- In medium bowl combine semolina and 3/4 cup all-purpose flours. Add salt to flour mixture. Create well in center of mixture. Add eggs to well. Mix with your hands. Once mixed completely, add water. Continue to mix until dough forms ball. Turn out to well-floured surface; knead dough until elastic.
- Separate dough into four portions. Let rest 15 minutes. Using pasta attachment for stand mixer or pasta machine, roll out dough until it stretches without tearing. On well-floured surface, roll out dough into large oval approximately 1/16-inch thick, or until you can see your hand through it. Cut dough into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons. Sprinkle pasta with more flour. Form pasta into 8 nests, set aside until ready to cook. Pasta can be made ahead and frozen in bundles.
Cacio e Pepe:
10 to 12 ounces cooked pappardelle (purchased or fresh, recipe below)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 1/2 cups semolina pasta flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup water