The simple, comforting spaghetti cacio e pepe
"My favorite midnight snack is spaghetti cacio e pepe. After a busy service and feeding a lot of people, there is something comforting in the simplicity of it. Spaghetti cooked al dente, lightly toasted coarse cracked black pepper, fresh cracked black pepper, butter, and Pecorino Romano is simple perfection. I like to make my cacio e pepe a little creamy with some of the water that the pasta has been cooked in. For those who have never had it, it almost has a macaroni and cheese creaminess, and the coarse cracked pepper is perfectly balanced with the sharpness of the cheese.
"I make mine with about 2 tablespoons of butter, 4 oz of pasta cooking water, 20 turns of coarse ground pepper, 10 turns of fresh black pepper- not toasted, and about 4 oz of Pecorino Romano. One trick for cooking at home is to cook the pasta in a saute pan and lay the pasta sideways. This ensures even cooking, but it also makes the water more starchy for ensuring you get a nice sauce at the end. Also, don't cook the pasta anymore when you add the cheese." -- Adam Hill, Manzo (Eataly Flatiron) (New York, New York)