Pici cacio e pepe
Pici cacio e pepe is a traditional recipe of mixed origin. While pici shaped pasta comes from the area around Siena, cacio e pepe is generally considered Roman heirloom. Still, the ingredients suit each other nicely.
A recent visit to Southern Tuscany introduced me to the local, hand rolled pasta known as pici. A thick macaroni type of noodle that can be found in a thousand different versions throughout the region. I had pici cacio e pepe at a restaurant in Siena, and it was absolutely delightful, which is why I’ve continued to make my own version at home.
This version violates the strict pici cacio e pepe rules by using garlic, butter and red pepper, but I find the additional ingredients enhance the flavour. The most important thing, however, is getting the consistency right. The sauce should be thick and creamy, so make sure you get the emulsion of cheese fat and cooking water right.