Spaghetti N°5:400 g
Black pepper, grated: plenty
Pecorino romano, grated: 160 g
Salt: a pinch
To make spaghetti cacio e pepe (spaghetti with cheese and pepper), take out a tall pot, put in water, salted but not too much, since pecorino romano is a very salty cheese; bring to a boil, then put in the spaghetti and cook. While it is cooking, prepare the dressing: grate the pecorino and put it in a large, high-sided bowl.
Take a ladle-full of the cooking water and put it in the bowl with the pecorino; mix well, with a whisk or spoon, until it is creamy and consistent, then grind in plenty of black pepper.
When the pasta has reached the al dente stage, drain it (but keep the water apart) and put it in the bowl with the cheese sauce. Mix everything well, until the starch of the pasta binds everything together so that the sauce is creamy in texture and well mixed into the spaghetti. If you still notice some cooking water, add a little more pecorino; if, on the other hand, the spaghetti are too dry, add a bit more cooking water, bit by bit, to achieve the desired consistency. Finish up with a ladle-full of water if the cheese sauce does not seem creamy enough. Once the sauce has mixed well with the spaghetti, sprinkle a bit more freshly-ground pepper in it if you wish, and then quickly put everything onto a serving platter–and it should be hot: the spaghetti cacio e pepe should be served immediately!