New York's Lupa is often revered by critics for having the best cacio e pepe in the city. This ancient dish is said to be the perfect meal of Roman shepards, who made it with the few simple dry ingredients they could carry on their travels. At Lupa, they put a slight buttery twist on the dish to add richness and make it a tad creamier than traditional variations.
- 1 Pound long noodle dry pasta (preferably tagliatelle or bavette)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 Cup grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/2 Cup Grana Padano
Boil pasta in salted water until just before al dente.
While pasta is cooking, grind black pepper in a pepper mill onto a large pan. Add olive oil and toast for 3-5 minutes on medium high heat.
Add one cup of pasta water and butter to the pan and then add cooked pasta. Finish cooking the pasta in the mixture until al dente.
Remove from heat and slowly add in the cheese.