Recipe by Jennifer Rockwell
Classic Roman Cacio e Pepe
Jennifer Rockwell, who owns (with her father, Rick) Ada's Pasta, a fresh pasta production company on Congress Street in Portland, learned to make this 10-minute dish from a Roman chef on a trip to Italy. Be sure to grate the pecorino cheese yourself as some commercial brands of grated cheese have an anti-caking agent that that can, ironically, gum up the works in this recipe.
1 pound fresh spaghetti
1 ½ cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 ½ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Add 2 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a large pot. Set pot over medium-high heat and bring water to a boil. Drop spaghetti into water and cook until al dente, 2–3 minutes. Set aside 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta. Transfer pasta to a warm serving bowl. Sprinkle all of the cheese and most of the pepper over the pasta. Toss vigorously, adding pasta water 1 tablespoonful at a time. The water will melt the cheese to create a smooth, creamy sauce. Garnish with remaining pepper and serve hot.
No. 16 / Spring 2021