Cacio e Pepe
Sometimes I question whether O and Pip would eat if pasta did not exist. To say that we eat a version of pasta at least 3 times per week is not an exaggeration. To keep myself and my husband from drowning in pasta boredom we try to keep things creative. But, in Cacio e Pepe there's no need to get creative. It's classic pasta perfection. And, it makes for a perfectly easy and quick weekday dinner.
1 pound bavette or linguini fine
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 stick butter
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup freshly grated cacio di roma (semi-soft sheep's milk cheese)
1 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt. Drop in pasta.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and butter over low heat until just melted. Turn off the heat.
3. When pasta is about one minute short of package directions for al dente, turn the heat back on under the saute pan. Take 2 ladles of pasta cooking water and add to the oil and butter in the saute pan and bring it to a boil. Add a small handful of the cheeses and allow to melt into the butter.
4. Drain the noodles, reserving a few cups of the cooking liquid. Drop the noodles into the saute pan and toss with black pepper, using tongs. Add in 2 more ladles of pasta water.
5. Add rest of the cheeses, turn off the heat, allow them to melt into the top of the pasta, then toss well. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Keep tossing, adding another ladleful of pasta cooking water, until pasta is well coated and a sauce has formed.
6. Serve with additional grated Pecorino and freshly ground black pepper.