How to make perfect Cacio e pepe with Marta | Tuscan Pici Pasta

I felt like I went to Italia today. @martascooking taught us how to make Homemade Pici Pasta and Cacio e Pepe sauce from her kitchen in Siena, Italy.  It doesn’t get more simple and delicious than this. That’s why I love Italian food! Simple ingredients. 
“Pici” pasta is the pasta pictured that looks like fat spaghetti, but isn’t. Spaghetti is always run through a machine so each strand is uniform. 
On the other hand, “Pici” pasta are each hand-rolled and take much much longer to make. But the result is incredible. There is a bite to the thick pici that you don’t get with spaghetti. 
Because it takes time, I suggest you do this activity on the weekend. (Or just use fettuccine)
If you want to make Pici, follow the recipe by Marta’s Cooking Classes. 
Marta would cook a white ragu or garlic sauce with Pici, but today we did Cacio e Pepe. 

There is a secret to the “simple” Cacio e Pepe sauce. It’s only 2 ingredients: pecorino and black pepper. 
But it takes technique.
That’s where Marta’s help really came in handy!
If you don’t know what you’re doing you could end up with a massive clump of cheese that doesn’t melt. I know- it’s happened to me before. 
Follow Marta’s technique below to make a luscious, creamy Cacio e Pepe Sauce.

How to make perfect Cacio e Pepe Sauce

  • Place 3 Tbsp. pecorino cheese per serving in a bowl. (Portion about 100g pasta per serving)
  • Add some fresh cracked pepper to the cheese
  • Ladle ½-1 cup pasta cooking water into cheese and pepper. Stir until it’s a thin creamy liquid. 
  • When the pasta is ‘al dente’, place pasta in a saute pan
  • Stir creamy cheese mixture into the pasta in sauté pan 
  • Add more pasta water to thin sauce
  • Turn heat up and stir pasta with water until it gets very creamy
  • Finish cooking the pasta with the sauce for a few minutes. 


If you don’t mix cheese with water beforehand, cheese could clump up. 
Also, try to let cheese sit out of the fridge a bit so it’s not super cold when you make this dish. It’s this little technique of mixing the pasta water with cheese beforehand that makes ALL the difference. Believe me! You don’t want a big clump of cheese so don’t skip this step. 

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♬ original sound – Joanna Barajas

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