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Pici Cacio e Pepe

Freelance chef Adam Banks draws from a local larder to create dishes that nourish both body and soul.

Serves 3-4


For the dough:

  • 180g 00 pasta flour

  • 180g semolina rimacinata

  • 10g salt

  • 168g boiling water

For the sauce:

  • Black pepper (in a mill or freshly ground)

  • Butter

  • Pecorino

  • Lemon wedge


Combine the flour and semolina together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, add the salt and pour over the boiling water. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the water and stir together with a fork. As the mixture starts to come together, tip it out on to a surface and begin to knead the dough so that all combines to one mass. Continue to knead for 10 minutes, rest the dough in a container with a lid.

After the dough has rested for about 30 minutes cut it into 4 pieces and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough so that it is about the thickness of a pencil. Then cut 0.5cm strips from this flat piece and roll the strips into thin noodles (pici). Dust with semolina to prevent sticking. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 6 minutes. During this time heat a large frying pan on a medium high heat. Add 2 ladles of the pasta cooking water to the pan and now grind black pepper into the water or add previously ground black pepper. Add the butter and allow it to start to melt. Reserve some of the cooking water in a jug, strain the pici and add it to the pan of black pepper and butter, toss the pasta in the sauce so that the sauce starts to thicken.

Remove from the heat and grate a heap of pecorino onto the pasta and toss the pasta into the sauce and cheese. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and if the sauce is looking a little thick add a splash of the cooking water. The sauce should be thick and velvety looking. Check the seasoning, adding a pinch of salt if needed, and then serve up.


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