Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min
Total time: 15 min
Yield: 2 servings
Difficulty: Easy

  • 3 oz Pancetta
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree
  • 3.5 oz Pecorino Cheese
  • 6 oz Long Pasta
  • 1 Hot Pepper
This is another regional recipe from Rome, Italy. You can make it spicy adding one hot pepper, or mild leaving the pepper out. The original recipe is made with Guanciale-the cheek of the pork-but since it’s not so easy to procure I’ve substituted it with Pancetta (bacon).
  1. Prepare all your ingredients and set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. You can prepare the sauce in the time it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. The original recipe is made with a pasta called Bucatini (thick hollow spaghetti). Since they’re not so common, any kind of long pasta will do. I’m using Linguine.
  2. Slice the pancetta in small strips and put it in a frying pan to cook. It is not necessary to add oil or butter.Cook the bacon until the fat has become transparent. If you prefer it crispier leave it a bit longer. However, it has to remain soft.
  3. At this point I do the unthinkable and dry the bacon of its fat in a colander over the sink. But you can skip this step in favor of deliciousness.
  4. Slice the hot pepper in tiny pieces and add it to the bacon. Skip if you don’t like spicy food.
  5. Add the tomato puree, a pinch of salt, and mix. Again, the original recipe would be with fresh tomatoes, but since I’m still a bit of a kid cooked tomatoes with seeds and skin gross me out and I prefer the creamy puree. Lower the fire to a minimum until the pasta is cooked.
  6. Dry the pasta and toss it in the pan. Mix while adding about half of the cheese.
  7. Plate and sprinkle the remaining of the cheese on each plate.
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 Amatriciana by Camilla Isley May-12-2015
Regional Pasta Recipe from Rome, Italy

Cacio e Pepe (Pecorino Cheese Spaghetti)

Total time: 15 min
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 2

  • 6oz Spaghetti
  • 3.5oz Pecorino Cheese
  • Ground Black Pepper

This is a famous recipe from Rome. I love the rich and tasty cuisine of this region of Italy (I lived there for some years), and I will post many more recipes typical of Lazio.

  1. Set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. You can prepare the sauce in the time it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, actually it will take longer for the pasta to cook than for you to prepare the sauce. For this kind of recipe I prefer to use Spaghetti, or some other kind of long pasta.
  2. Grate the Pecorino cheese. My tip, as alway, is to buy the cheese whole, cut it in small cubes, and grate it in the food processor. Also, this particular cheese is not so common, and you may not be able to find it already grated.
  3. Now, how to do the sauce? The original recipe would tell you to wait until the pasta is ready and mix it directly with the grated cheese and a ladle of cooking water in a bowl until you have a creamy blend. I’ve tried it, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. So I cheat, how? I wait until the pasta has one minute left of cooking time and mix the grated cheese (leave out a small spoon for each plate) with said ladle of pasta’s cooking water in a small container (I use a plastic measuring cup), and then I process it with a hand blender. The result couldn’t be creamier.
  4. Once you’re done with the blending, the pasta should be cooked and ready to be dried. If you want to bring to the table a bowl, put the pasta in and pour the cheese salsa on top, or you can already plate it and pour the salsa on each plate. Mix well.
  5. Sprinkle with abundant ground black pepper and the remaining cheese.
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 Cacio e Pepe (Pecorino Cheese Spaghetti) Recipe by Camilla Isley