Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

AKA Mac n' Cheese fatto in Italia, or the easiest bowl of pasta you'll ever prepare. All you need is some kind of aged sharp cheese, butter (olive oil is also an option) and pepper, hence the Cacio e Pepe which means Cheese and Pepper.

Talking to Neryl about food, I think it was a fortnight ago or so (My name is Nach and I'm a foodaholic), I suggested her a simple recipe for dinner. The day later I pondered about the last time I had a bowl of Cacio e Pepe... so I thought to myself, well I have cheese and pasta... I might as well prepare some of this for lunch.

I popped in my Jazz Mix Cassette on the recorder...

...And started preparing the ingredients.

For the Cacio e Pepe you're going to need:

  • 6-8 Ounces of Pasta (preferably long pasta)
  • 2/3 Cup of grated aged Pecorino Cheese (You can also use Parmesan)
  • A Tablespoon of Black Pepper
  • A dollop of butter (Olive oil is a fine substitute but it won't yield the correct consistency)

Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

Towering in the midle is the Pecorino Cheese... just thinking about the scent of the cheese gives me the craving for some pasta! To the left of the chese there's a bowl of uncooked farfalle (I didn't have any spaghetti at home).

Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

Boil two cup of water and add salt, it has to taste like sea water sans the dead fish flavour.

Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

Pour in the pasta and wait... depending of the type of pasta t could take from 8 to 12 minutes until it is at the right consistency.

Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

A small trick if you plan to leave your pot unattended but don't want the water spilling all over your cooktop. Something I did cause I was multitasking at the moment.

Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

Time to grate some cheese!

Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

and add some pepper!

Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

Once the pasta is ready strain it, and return it to the pot (set some of the strained water aside, you're gonna need it!)... or you can place it in a bowl too ^^

Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

Mix in the ingredients... add some butter and some of the strained water to get a better consistency with the cheese..

Cooking with TAY : Cacio e Pepe

And done! Easiest bowl of pasta ever, yet so delicious! There's really no science behind this dish (I mean there is a science in getting the right proportions of the ingredients), it's so simple to prepare, and it serves as a great starting point to anyone interested in cooking.

Next week I'm covering another basic of the Italian cuisine... Until then my fellow TAYers!