Bucatini cacio e pepe in plate with fork.
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Bucatini Cacio E Pepe

Bucatini cacio e pepe is a simple pasta dish of Pecorino Romano cheese, coarse black pepper and pasta water that is pure comfort.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 558kcal
Author James

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • 2 cups Pecorino Romano
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Cook bucatini until 'al dente' in salted water. Reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Grate 1 1/2 cups of Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Heat a large pan on medium heat and cook 3 tsp of pepper in 1 Tbsp of olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup of pasta water to the pan and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add the bucatini to the pan and stir to coat. After 1 minute of cooking, turn off the heat to the pan.
  • Add the cheese slowly and stir to combine. Mix in a fast motion to create a creamy sauce that thoroughly coats the pasta. If too dry add 1 Tbsp of pasta water at a time to create the perfect creamy consistency.
  • Taste test and adjust salt if required. Serve immediately with more pepper and Pecorino Romano. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Turn off the heat after adding the pasta to the pan.  This will slightly cool the temp prior to adding the cheese, making it more likely for the cheese to not clump up.
  • Make sure to grate the cheese really fine, or buy pre-grated ultra fine Pecorino.  This will help it melt more quickly.
  • Using a touch of oil helps the sauce emulsify.  Some people use butter as well for this step.
  • Stir quickly with a wooden spoon as soon as the cheese hits the pasta.  If you have help, have one person slowly add the cheese in while you mix quickly.
  • If the pasta is too dry add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water at a time to bring the creamy consistency right back to the bucatini cacio e pepe.
  • If all else fails, ( You might have to make a couple of attempts.  This is part of the fun and joy of learning to cook!) use the bowl method where the cheese, pasta water and pepper are combined into a paste before adding the pasta back in.
  • Leftovers are not recommended due to sauce separation.

Nutrition

Calories: 558kcal | Carbohydrates: 83.6g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 720mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 320mg | Iron: 4mg