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Cacio e Pepe with Mushroom Bacon
Cacio e Pepe is a simple roman dish with only three ingredients: pasta, Pecorino romano cheese and black pepper. With this recipe, it all comes down to the method. Toasting the pepper in the dry pan allows the flavors to become more intense. Using starchy pasta water allows the elements to come together and create a creamy, saucy feel to this dish. Here, we’ve added mushroom bacon for the crunchy texture.
- 6 ounces bucatini pasta
- 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup Pecorino romano cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- Pinch of pepper
- 6 oz baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
Cacio e Pepe
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Add the thinly sliced mushrooms to a bowl with the olive oil, crushed garlic, worcestershire sauce and pepper. Mix until coated with the sauce.
- Pour the ingredients onto the prepared baking tray.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until darker in color, and crispy on the edges.
- Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a pot.
- Salt the water, add the bucatini and cook until al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain, and reserve about a cup of the starchy pasta water.
- Add the pepper to a dry pan and toast for about a minute. Add a little reserved pasta water, about ½ cup.
- Add pasta to the pan. Reduce heat and add the Pecorino romano, stirring with a tongs until incorporated and the cheese melts.
- Incorporate the remaining pasta water, adding only small amounts at a time as needed. Mix with a tongs.
- Plate the pasta and add the mushroom bacon on top.