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Playing Cacio e Pepe


  • 1 pound acini de pepe-shaped pasta, or your favorite small pasta
  • 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 1 cup (about 3 rounded handfuls) grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Serves: 4 servings


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. When the water is boiling, add some salt and drop the pasta. Cook to al dente, according to package directions. Heads up: reserve a ladle or two of the cooking water for the sauce right before you drain the pasta.

When the pasta is ready, pour the reserved starchy cooking water in a medium-size bowl. Drain the pasta and toss it in the bowl with the pepper. Add in the cheese in small handfuls, sprinkling it over the hot pasta then tossing it with tongs, until all the cheese is incorporated to make a creamy sauce. Season the pasta to taste with salt if necessary. Serve alongside Thinly Sliced Beef Cutlets with Bistro Gravy.