Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe - Vincenzo's Plate

300gr – 10.5oz  Spaghettoni (thick spaghetti) (150g per person)
2cups FRESHLY GRATED Pecorino Romano, do not use the pretreated stuff from the store. It won't melt right (1 Cup per person)
Rock Salt
3L water (12.8cups)

1. This cacio e pepe recipe starts with boiling the water on the stove in a large pot.
2. When the water comes to boil, add rock salt and let it dissolve.
3. Add the pasta to the boiling water, keeping an eye on the time and cooking the pasta 2-3 minutes less than the desired cooking time.
4. Next, is the secret to taking your cacio e pepe recip from good to GREAT! Put the fry pan on your stove at a medium heat and sprinkle a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper in it.
5. Leave the pepper to lightly toast for a few minutes and grate at least 2 cups of pecorino cheese into a bowl.
6. Once the pepper has been toasting for a few minutes, use a ladle and scoop out some pasta water, pouring it into the pan where it should bubble up!
7. Now, add half a ladle of water to your bowl and mix it together using a fork or a spatula to create a thick paste. Don’t add too much or it will become runny. (If it does, add extra grated pecorino cheese to thicken it up again). It should almost be the consistency of ricotta.
8. Once the pasta has approx. 3 minutes left to cook, using a set of long tongs, get the pasta out and add it to your fry pan. Mix this together really well and add a cup full of pasta water too.
9. If you notice the water drying up, add some more along with more pepper and keep mixing.
10. After mixing this through for 2 minutes, turn the heat off, and add the cheesy paste for the cacio e pepe recipe to the pan.
11. Now it’s very important to help the cheese melt and dissolve into the water. For the perfect cacio e pepe, there shouldn’t be any stringy or thick pieces of cheese in your pasta.
12. Combine all of this for at least another minute or until all of your cheese is dissolved and then toss your pan up even gently if you find it hard because it will help to stop the cheese from over cooking and also lather all the strands of pasta even more.

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