Cacio e Pepe (For Two)
From the December/January 2020 issue of Eat Drink Mississippi
Water for boiling
1 heavy teaspoon medium-coarse ground pepper (or 17 turns of a pepper grinder)
2 servings linguine pasta (usually a box is 6 servings, so eye it)
1-1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon salt
In a medium sauce pot, add water to fill it up half way and place on stovetop. Set the eye to the highest setting.
With a medium sized saute pan, add coarse ground pepper and turn eye to medium-low to toast the pepper.
Once water comes to a boil, add pasta to water and boil for 6 minutes.
when time is up, add two ladles of pasta water to pepper in the saute pan and turn up heat to medium high. Add pasta to the pan and continue to cook till al dente, about 2 more minutes.
Place grated cheese in a small mixing bowl and add 1 ladle of pasta water to the bowl. Mix until combined. It will resemble a thin paste.
Remove the saute pan from the heat. Add salt and cheese paste to the pan. Move everything around using a pair of tongs until the cheese mixture has fully combined with all of the pasta. Portion onto 2 plates and enjoy.