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Cacio e pepe [kah-choh eh pay-pay]
A simple Roman dish, cacio e pepe is basically pasta with cheese and black pepper. It’s delicious.
Likely a dialect word for cheese (formaggio in Italian), cacio is a prime ingredient and usually takes the form of a hard cheese that can be grated, something like a Pecorino (which accounts for nearly one-seventh of the cheese made in Italy). For example, there’s a style called caciatto di Pecorino, from Lazio, which is eaten with broad beans.
Cacio e pepe, because it travelled well (and often uses sheep’s milk cheese), was a perfect dish for shepherds.
It really is simple: butter, pasta water, fresh cracked black pepper and grated cheese. Use a rough pasta to hold that wondrous sauce.
Like I said: delicious!