Quarantine Eats: Cacio e Pepe

1 pound dried spaghetti, bucatini, or tonnarelli pasta
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon very coarsely ground black pepper
4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, very finely grated (about 2 cups)

1 - Set a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Season generously with salt until it tastes like the summer sea. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

2 - Heat a large pan over medium heat and add enough olive oil to just coat the bottom. When it shimmers, add the pepper and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water into the pan and let it boil — this will encourage an emulsion to form.

3 - Add the drained pasta to the hot pan, toss to coat the noodles, then sprinkle in all but a handful of the cheese. Use tongs to vigorously toss the pasta, adding more pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce that clings to the pasta without clumping. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Garnish with the remaining cheese and more coarsely ground pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe from Samin Nosrat via The Kitchn