The pasta with cacio cheese and pepper is one of the most famous recipes of the Roman culinary tradition. It is a poor and peasant dish, which has become a classic. Apparently, it seems simple but which, in reality, requires a lot of attention while preparing and with the right dosage of the three main ingredients: pasta, pecorino romano and pepper. The type of pasta is the “tonnarello”, a type of spaghetti made with eggs that absorbs better the seasoning. However, a short pasta can also be used, such as rigatoni and macaroni, which equally capture the creaminess of the sauce, enhancing its flavor. A dish so dear to literature and cinema and so jokingly remembered by the famous Roman actor Aldo Fabrizi in one of his poems, dedicated to nice summer cuisine:
«Your wife, after the usual move, / enjoys with the kids the sun and the beach, / and you’re left by yourself what will you eat? / when you’re not even able to light the cooking fire? / let’s say a pasta in a pot / it’s expensive; / if you cook you’ll save money / and you’ll have fun as if it was a game. / I’ll give you a little advice / but good, only pepper and cacio cheese / with guanciale (bacon) it’s called Gricia / and believe me between 4 walls / eat in your underwear…without any fuss / you’ll enjoy the holidays more». [Aldo Fabrizi]
Ingredients for 4 people: 500 grams of tonnarelli, maccheroni or rigatoni; 150 grams of pecorino romano, black pepper.
Preparation time: 30 minutes of preparation.
Prepare plenty of lightly salted water in a saucepan to bring it to a boil. Meanwhile prepare the mixture of grated pecorino and freshly ground pepper in a bowl. Cook the pasta draining it al dente and keep a little of the cooking water which will be poured into a warm soup tureen to mix the three ingredients well before serving the portions.