Cacio e Pepe e Pepe
This twist on the classic cacio e pepe utilizes the Chinese principle of má là: spiciness and numbing. Instead of the usual black pepper, this recipe features Sichuan peppercorns for the numbing spice, red chili peppers for the hot spice, plus plenty of Pecorino Romano PDO to balance all that heat.
- ½ pound fresh stir-fry noodles
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon ground dried red chili peppers (or chili flakes)
- 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano PDO (plus extra for topping)
- Salt, to taste
- ►Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat and salt heavily. Turn off heat, add noodles and let sit for seven minutes. Reserve ½ cup of cooking water and then strain.
- ►Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add both types of pepper and stir to toast until fragrant, about 90 seconds.
- ►Add pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer, then add cooked noodles and remaining tablespoon butter. Remove from heat, add cheese, and toss with tongs until the sauce coats the pasta.
- ►Garnish with extra grated Pecorino Romano PDO and serve immediately.
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