For as simple as most Cacio e Pepe recipes sound, getting this soul-satisfying dish right - that creamy, salty, peppery sauce - is difficult. After years of watery sauce with clumps of parmesan, we found a trick: leveraging the cold water pasta method. —@withgrace
1 pound dry pasta, (bucatini best, but any pasta will do)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
fresh, coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Combine water, pasta, and salt in a 4 1/2-quart pot, cover and set over medium-high heat to bring to a boil. We use a deep stainless-steel sauté pan.
When water boils, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer. Remove the lid, stir in the freshly ground black pepper, and cook until the liquid is almost completely absorbed - about 10 minutes. It should be al dente and look just a bit saucier than the pasta you would plate.
Remove from heat and stir in the grated Pecorino Romano. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted and is fully incorporated into the pasta water.