Pasta Cacio e Pepe (pasta with cheese and black pepper) is sweeping across the UK with a fervour that only food trends can possess. Cacio e Pepe is essentially the mac and cheese of Italian pasta: it’s simple, cheesy comfort food. The creamy Cacio e Pepe sauce is achieved thanks to the water used to cook the pasta in: as it cooks, the pasta releases gluten. This gluten-rich water then acts as a coagulant when added to the cheese, forming a silky, rich sauce.
Our Pennette Reggiano e Tartufo (penne with parmesan and truffle) is an elevated variation of Cacio e Pepe, originating from the streets of Rome. Here, Cacio (pecorino cheese) is replaced with Reggiano (parmesan cheese), and the cooking water is flavoured with a light bouillon. A final, generous shaving of summer truffle gives this simple street dish a fancy makeover.
- Pennette Rigate No.87 – Agnesi
- Reggiano Wedges 18/20M (grated) – Castelli
- Coarse Ground Black Pepper – Cannamela
- Summer Truffle
- Vegetable Bouillon – Gomo
- Butter – Giovanni Colombo
- White onion
- Nutmeg – Cannamela
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Place the Pennette in the boiling water.
In the meantime, place a generous knob of butter in a pan. Add the thinly sliced white onion and cook on low heat until it’s soft and translucent. Remove some cooking water from the pasta pot and add it to the shallow pan. Add a small amount of vegetable bouillon and adjust to taste.
Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it and add to the shallow pan. Add the grated Reggiano and toss the pasta until the cheese, broth and onions form a creamy sauce. Add a generous amount of black pepper and a dash of nutmeg.
Plate up the pasta. Add the fresh chopped chives and shave the black truffle on top. Add more Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve immediately.