serves 2

01 Ingredients

200g Italian spaghettoni 

150g parmigiano reggiano (authentic use pecorino romano) 

2 tbs whole black peppercorns 


Extra grated parmigiano (or pecorino romano) 

02 Preparation

  • ​​Grate the cheese on fine with a grater and put it in a bowl

  • Bring salted water in the pasta pot to the boil. Do not use too much water, as you need the starch from the pasta to create the sauce. Less is better 

  •  Add the spaghettoni

  • Grind the black peppercorns into a pan

  • Put the pan on medium heat and toast the peppercorns gently until they exude their aroma

  • Put a ladle full of the pasta water into the pan and simmering, let it reduce, adding more as necessary to achieve a starchy liquid

  • Ladle a small amount of the starchy pasta water into a bowl to cool and then slowly stir into the cheese to create a creamy paste - not watery

  • Test the strands and before the pasta is al dente, remove the spaghettoni from the water, into a bowl and then into the pan, stirring at all times

  • Keep adding a little of the water from the pasta pot as needed, while the pasta continues to cook for an extra 2 minutes, stirring and agitating the pasta

  • Add a bit more of the pasta water if its dry, stir, toss 

  • Lower the heat and add the cheese

  • Stir and toss the pan till the pasta is completely covered in the sauce

  • This small procedure - mantecare - will give the pasta its lovely creaminess

  • Serve immediately

03 Plating

Divide the pasta into 2 pasta bowls. Grind over more ground black pepper and some grated parmigiano

Cook’s Notes

I prefer the flavour of parmigiano to the pecorino romano. This is a very simple and delicious pasta dish. It just needs full attention to get the creamy consistency right