Cacio e pepe. The Roman’s prized dish. If only they knew that my mom Israeli-fied it. She’s got some Italian in her blood. And since carbs are all I seem to want to eat, I’ve got it running through my veins too. Instead of using Pecorino Romano, Bulgarian Feta and Kashkaval are mixed into the still steaming spaghetti. It melts and binds with a little help of some cooking liquid to form a gorgeous, cheesy sauce. Tons of pepper give it that distinct “cacio e pepe” sort of flavor. My mom adds an egg for added luxury, or gluttony. It happens at least once a month that I open up my fridge and realize I have nothing in there but cheese. That’s when this recipe comes to save the day.
Mom’s Cacio e Pepe
4 servings[one_half padding=”0 20px 0 0px”]1 lb spaghetti
2 cups shredded Kashkaval or Provolone
1 cup Bulgarian Feta
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid[/one_half][one_half_last padding=”0 0px 0 20px”] Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al-dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1/3 cup of the starchy cooking liquid. Drain the spaghetti and return to the pot.
Add the cheese and the cooking liquid to the pot. Mix and toss. Just before all the cheese has melted, add the egg, salt, and pepper to the pot and continue to toss.