- 200 g black squid ink pasta
- 200 g spaghetti
- 100 g butter, cubed
- 2½ t freshly ground black pepper
- 275 g pecorino,finely grated
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 5 T Italian parsley, finely chopped
- baby spinach, wilted, for serving
- lemon juice, for serving
Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water in two separate pans until al dente. Drain, reserving 1½ cups cooking water.
Melt 4 T butter in a large pan, add the pepper and cook for 1 minute, swirling the pan.
Add half the cooking water to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and remaining butter.
Add the cheese, chilli and parsley and toss the pasta using tongs until the cheese melts. Add more water if it seems a little dry.
Serve immediately with wilted baby spinach cooked in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Cook's note: Cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper. Think of it as a faster, silkier mac ’n cheese.
Use a fine Microplane or thefiner side of a grater to grate the cheese so that it melts easier for a creamier sauce. When wilting spinach, use a wide pan so that the spinach has enough room to cook.