This is one of those very simple pasta dishes that have "vanished during the night" as one blogger says ("La ricetta della pasta cacio e pepe si perde nella notte dei tempi." ). It is absolutely spectacular, simple beyond belief, and very difficult to make. (hat's right, difficult, not easy.) I love this dish as much as I love some of the other very, very simple pasta dishes (like one with egg and garlic, and another with salt and potatoes). I tried several times to make it, and then my sister-in-law, who lives near Rome, sent me a webpage with a discussion of the dish, and I learned the secret. (http://viaggiesapori.blogspot.com/2006/08/cacio-e-pepe.html.) The dish should be swimming in sauce, and the sauce should be even (no clots and lumps). The pepper should be extremely strong: it is not a granish, but an ingredient. Think of it like a vegetable or other principal ingredient: it should be surprisingly strong from the first bite to the last. The difficult thing in this recipe is to melt the pecorino romano. If it's not done just right, you end up with unappealing lumps of cheese in a watery sauce. So the dish either succeeds brilliantly or totally fails. If you're planning a dinner party, practice first! They say you need absolutely fresh pecorino romano, and I think that's because you need its full moisture content.