This is purported to be "the best quick meal" we've ever tasted, as per Yvonne Ruperti in Cook's Illustrated. There are two other recipes for cacio e pepe (pasta with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper) on RecipeZaar, but this one adds at least one more ingredient to keep the cheese from turning into a big clump. Add cream. This recipe was reprinted as "recipe of the week" in The Week magazine.
- Place finely grated Pecorino Romano in medium bowl. Set colander inside large bowl.
- Bring 2 courts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente (or according to package directions). Drain pasta into colander, reserving cooking water. Pour 1 1/2 cups cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder. Return pasta to now-empty bowl.
- Slowly whisk 1 cup of reserved pasta water into finely grated Pecorino until smooth. Whisk in cream, oil, and black pepper. Gradually pour mixture over pasta, tossing to coat. Let pasta rest 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting consistency with remaining pasta water. Serve, passing coarsely grated Pecorino separately.