This dish, right here, is now my favorite, go to, what in the world do we want for dinner meal. It is fast. It is easy. It uses ingredients I am never without. And most of all, we think it is completely delicious.
And your ingredient list is extremely short: pasta, parmesan, black pepper. That, along with the water to boil your pasta in is it. Can it get any easier then that?
I’ve used a variety of pasta shapes when making this, but mostly spaghetti. We always have spaghetti in the pantry. You never know when a need for pasta will strike! The day I decided to document my favorite pasta dish, I’d used pappardelle, also a good choice. The sauce and pepper clung so nicely to the noodles.
The other main ingredient I always have is parmesan cheese. I swear, we are never without it. And when we are, all I wanted is some to sprinkle on some oven roasted veggies! So I always make sure to have some on hand.
Lastly is fresh cracked pepper. Lots and lots of pepper! In fact, my husband and I have been known to sit there and crack and grind pepper into the pot. Toss everything together, serve ourselves dinner, and still want to add more pepper, it is just so good! there is something about the way the cheese and pepper come together, you get that peppery bite, but it sin’t so overwhelming you don’t want more. I just can’t explain it.
Since first trying this dish back towards the beginning of the year, I can say I’ve easily made it at least a dozen times. Being so good and so easy, it just lends itself to being made over and over. And it is so deceptively flavorful!
Parmesan and Black Pepper Pasta
Adapted from The Glorious Pasta of Italy
1 pound dried pasta (traditionally buccatini is used, but we tend to go for spaghetti)
4 ounces freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese (I’ve tried using pregrated cheeses, they didn’t melt as well)
Fresh ground black pepper to taste ( as the author Domenica says add the pepper with abandon!)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it well. Add your pasta and cook to al dente following the manufactorers directions. once cooked, reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta, just not too well. Trasfer the wet pasta to a warm serving bowl or back to the pasta pot.
Sprinkle the cheese over the pasta and stir well, adding some of the cooking water if you need to to loosen the sauce up. Once the noodles are well coated, grind in a healthy amount of black pepper and toss again to coat the noodles. Serve immediately.