While on a eating/walking tour of Rome a couple years back, we had a chance to sample some pastas at Il Pagliaccio. A restaurant built inside Monte Testaccio. Finer pasta you will never find. One that really stood out for us was a black pepper pasta. At the time they most likely told us what it was called, but as tourists we were more looking forward to eating and looking at the sites. Well fast forward and a craving started to build. So we did a little research and found it was called Cacio e Pepe. Roman Pepper Pasta. With this information in hand, it was time to get to cooking.
We hit the Italian Centre Shop to gather some ingredients. Pasta and Pecorino. We had everything else.
We deviated from the recipe a bit by adding garlic to the sauce as it was cooking. The sauce was basically butter, olive oil, garlic and fresh cracked black pepper.
Once cooked and starting to brown a bit it turned it to low and checked on the pasta.
We went with dried fettuccine noodles to better hold the sauce. With the pasta at a full boil, it was time to work the sauce again.
With the pasta nearing el dente it was time to turn up the sauce. Grab about 3/4 of a cup of the pasta water and add to the sauce. The starchy water will help thicken the sauce.
With the sauce at a full boil, turn it down and scoop the pasta from the boiling water and add to the frying pan. Toss to coat the pasta.
Add half the cheese and stir about to combine.
Once all the cheese has been added and stirred about, you can serve.
Garnish with some fresh basil and enjoy.