It is among the most basic, simplest pastas there is, and suddenly trendy to boot. Why? Because when made right, it is incredible.
- 1 ½ cups finely grated pecorino Romano, plus more for dusting completed dish
- 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, plus more for finishing the dish
- ¾ pound tonnarelli or other long pasta like linguine or spaghetti
- Good olive oil
- Put a pot of salted water on to boil. In a large bowl, combine the cheeses and black pepper; mash with just enough cold water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste evenly in the bowl.
- Once the water is boiling, add the pasta. The second before it is perfectly cooked (taste it frequently once it begins to soften), use tongs to transfer the pasta into a skillet, put some of the pasta water there and slowly add the cheese while flip mixing the pasta to create your sauce that sticks. You have to do this for a good 1-2 minutestir vigorously to coat the pasta, adding a teaspoon or two of olive oil and a bit of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce if necessary. The sauce should cling to the pasta and be creamy but not watery.
- Plate and dust each dish with additional pecorino and pepper. Serve immediately.