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Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

Yield: Makes 4 first-course servings
Yield: Makes 4 first-course servings


  • 2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 2 1/2 ounce very finely grated pecorino romano (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) or parmigiano-reggiano plus additional for serving


Baking Directions:

Toast peppercorns in a dry small skillet over moderately high heat, swirling skillet, until fragrant and peppercorns begin to jump, 2 to 3 minutes.

Coarsely crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or wrap in a kitchen towel and press on peppercorns with bottom of a heavy skillet.

Cook spaghetti in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

Fill a large glass or ceramic bowl with some hot water to warm bowl.

Just before spaghetti is finished cooking, drain bowl but do not dry.

Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta quickly in a colander (do not shake off excess water) and add to warm pasta bowl.

Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese and 3 tablespoons cooking water evenly over spaghetti and toss quickly.

If pasta seems dry, toss with some additional cooking water.

Divide pasta among 4 plates, then sprinkle with pepper and 2 tablespoons cheese (total).

Serve immediately with additional cheese on the side.

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