Black pepper pasta. Had this when we were in Rome a few years back and happy to be making it at home at last!
It all starts with preparation. Let’s go back. Way back before the meal prep was taking place. Back to the start. No store bought pasta for us. We had to start with the base ingredients for pasta and kick it up by added fresh cracked black pepper.
2 eggs, 1 Tbsp cracked black pepper, 1 Tsp salt.
Add 2 cups of flour and 4 Tbsp of water.
Now you could do this by hand if you sadistic, but I prefer to let the machine take care of the hard work.
For me the dough was a little dry, so I added about a Tsp of olive oil. I could had added more water, but I wanted a little extra flavour in the pasta. Once the dough has formed into a ball, remove and warp in plastic wrap and let sit.
Being one to let the machines take over the world, I pulled out my trusty pasta roller attachment. One to roll the dough flat and one to cut into spaghetti.
Cut off a third of the dough ball to use in the roller otherwise it will be too long and unwieldy to work with!
Flatten the dough a bit by hand then into the roller. Set the roller on the thickest setting to start and gradually thin it for each subsequent roll through.
You should eventually have a long sheet of pasta after about 3 times through the ever shrinking roller.
Now it’s time to swap to your pasta cutter and cut the dough into spaghetti strips. If you want incredibly long pasta noodles you could run the entire length of the pasta dough as it is, me I prefer shorter spaghetti so I cut it into thirds before running through the cutter.
Once the pasta has gone through the cutter, toss it with some flour to keep it from sticking.
Continue to do this until all the pasta dough has been processed.
For the pasta you will not be using right away, you can freeze it or leave it out to dry.
Now onto the good stuff!
Cacio e Pepe!
Get you salted water boiling and add in your pasta. Fresh pasta takes next to know time to cook, so have the rest of your meal prep ready to go.
Add a Tbsp of olive oil into a frying pan and a Tbsp of fresh cracked black pepper and stir on medium high heat.
Once the pasta is cooked add it to the frying pan and toss about. Don’t worry about getting pasta water in with the pasta. The starchy water will help make a creamier sauce.
In fact, you’ll want to keep about a cup of pasta water handy to add as you go.
Next have your grated Parmesan or Pecorino or insert your favorite cheese here. We did half Asiago and Tillamook Pepper cheddar cheese. You want about 1/2 cup of each.
Add the cheese to the pasta and toss about. Here you can add extra pasta water to make the sauce as creamy as you want. Once done, plate and serve!