Bucatini cacio e pepe is regarded as one of the most simple, yet satisfying Italian dishes. It typically contains only a few ingredients: pasta, pecorino cheese and black pepper. This dish originated in Rome, where it remains popular today.
It is said that it is typical of northern Italy to prefer fresh pasta, and in the south the dried variety is more popular. For Rome however, the city strikes a balance between the two varieties. This recipe is most often made with either dried pasta, or fresh pasta. Peppercorn is next, and this is something everyone agrees on: fresh is best. Black peppercorn is typically freshly ground into the dish. The cheese is the component that is the most particular. This is the reason the name does not contain the more typical name for cheese, formaggio. Commonly, this dish is made with percorino cheese, which is made from sheep’s milk. Percorino was formerly known as cacio, which is how this cheese began its association with this recipe.
This cheese originated in Tuscany, although it found its real fame in Florence soon after. Nomadic shepards roamed the land with their flock, and they used the delicate flavors of the animals’ milk to produce this esteemed ingredient. The cheese market fluctuated, but after the nineteenth century this cheese reappeared in many markets.
Contributed by Kara Scannell.