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Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

I wanted a tasty side dish to serve with the eggplant parmesan I was making for dinner so I went in search of a recipe in my new America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. This was a simple pasta–only a few ingredients but that it was made using an interesting method. The key to this pasta is cooking it in a certain amount of water to ensure it’s extra starchy. You then mix the starchy water with the Pecorino Romano and a bit of heavy cream which helps emulsify the mixture so it doesn’t become lumpy when the pasta is added. I also liked that they had me drain the pasta over the serving bowl to heat the bowl up – so clever! This spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and black pepper was a big hit with the entire family  – especially my kids who both had second servings. Eggplant parmesan paired nicely with these noodles.

Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

How to Make Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

Place the finely grated Pecorino Romano in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Set a colander in a large serving bowl.

Bring two quarts (8 cups) of water to a boil in a large pot; season with a pinch of salt. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente, per cooking instructions.

Drain the pasta into the colander set in the bowl, reserving the cooking water in the bowl. Pour 3/4 of the cooking water into a liquid measuring cup and discard the remaining water and place the pasta in the now-empty bowl.

Slowly whisk 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water into the finely grated Pecorino Romano until smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream, olive oil, and freshly cracked black pepper. Gradually pour the cheese mixture over the pasta, tossing to coat evenly. Let the pasta rest for a few minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting the consistency with the remaining 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water as needed. Serve with additional cheese. Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main
Servings: 4
Author: Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original by America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano grated fine, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Place the finely grated Pecorino Romano in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Set a colander in a large serving bowl.
  • Bring two quarts (8 cups) of water to a boil in a large pot; season with a pinch of salt.
  • Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente, per cooking instructions.
  • Drain the pasta into the colander set in the bowl, reserving the cooking water in the bowl.
  • Pour 3/4 of the cooking water into a liquid measuring cup and discard the remaining water and place the pasta in the now-empty bowl.
  • Slowly whisk 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water into the finely grated Pecorino Romano until smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream, olive oil, and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Gradually pour the cheese mixture over the pasta, tossing to coat evenly.
  • Let the pasta rest for a few minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting the consistency with the remaining 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water as needed.
  • Serve with additional cheese. Enjoy!
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6 Comments

  1. Looks like a delicious side dish – I like using the pasta water to heat the serving bowl.

  2. We both love pasta and this sounds perfect. Happy day Diane

  3. It’s like cacio e pepe but with cream! More like how I used to originally make Alfredo, but I also included butter. Such good pasta!

  4. I always make my cacio e pepe based on the America’s test kitchen recipe!! It’s the best.