When in Rome, cacio e pepe is a must-eat dish. A minimalist pasta using just butter, cheese and pepper; yet the final flavor is so rich, deep and very satisfying.
8 oz.pasta (such as bucatini or spaghetti)
3 Tablespoons ofunsalted European butter, divided
3/4cupfinely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
1/3cupfinely grated Pecorino
1 Teaspoon offreshly ground black pepper
Heat a large stockpot of water. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender (al dente)
While the pasta cooks, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter with 1 teaspoon ground pepper in a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Let the pepper infuse for 1 minute and then turn off the heat.
When the pasta is al dente, draining, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water and add to the butter and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, add the pasta, Grana Padano, and remaining butter. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts stirring and tossing with tongs until melted and sauce coats the pasta. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry)
Finish with the remaining pecorino and more freshly ground black pepper.