Dinner Tonight: Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe


"My dear friend Mauro Vincenti was a larger-than-life character," writes Jonathan Waxman in Italian, My Way. One day, Mr. Vincenti asked Mr. Waxman to try this dish. "What is that? I asked. Cacio e pepe, slang for pecorino cheese and black pepper. That's it? I thought. And Mauro, seeing my bewilderment jumped and said that's it — black pepper, pecorino cheese and al dente pasta. So here you go."


Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

From Jonathan Waxman's Italian, My Way: More than 150 Simple and Inspired Recipes That Breathe New Life into Italian Classics, published by Simon and Schuster.


1 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup freshly grated aged pecorino

1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

sea salt (optional)


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta for 8 minutes, or until al dente, then drain.

Combine the pecorino and black pepper in a large bowl, then add the pasta and toss together.  Add sea salt if necessary (it won't be - the pecorino is salty). Serve hot.

Serves 4.