Only 4 simple ingredients (pasta, cheese, butter and black pepper) needed to make this easy Italian pasta dish. The process of adding back some of the pasta cooking water is what creates the velvety cheese sauce.
- 8 ounces, weight Bucatini Pasta (or Spahetti)
- 1 teaspoon Coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- ¾ cups Finely grated pecorino romano cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions (we’ll reserve some of the pasta water and remove the pasta 1 minute before the recommended cooking time.)
If using butter, add the butter and cracked pepper to a large saucepan and heat over low heat until the butter is melted (but not browned). Remove from fire. Put aside. If you are not using butter, add cracked pepper to a large saucepan and set aside.
When the pasta is about 3 minutes from being fully cooked, pour about ½ cup pasta water into the pot along with butter and pepper. Return the saucepan to low heat.
When the pasta is about 1 minute from done cooking, reserve about ½ to 1 cup of cooking water and drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the pan with the butter, pepper and the previously added cooking water. Stir continuously until most of the pasta water has evaporated. The pasta should now be cooked al dente. (If necessary, add a little of the reserved cooking water and continue cooking until the pasta is al dente.)
Remove pan from heat and add cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is fully incorporated (1-2 minutes). If necessary, add some of the reserved cooking water with a spoon to dilute the sauce. The sauce should cling to the pasta and be creamy but not watery.
Serve immediately, garnished with additional cheese and pepper, if desired.