At Molto, this dish is served in the shell of a wheel of pecorino, as is traditional, and the pasta is tossed in it for extra cheese flavour. The spaghetti is boiled in less water than usual so the water becomes more starchy and therefore amalgamates with the cheese better to form the sauce.
- 400 gm durum wheat spaghetti (see note)
- 160 gm finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra to serve
- 1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper, plus extra to serve
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1Bring 1.5 litres lightly salted water to the boil in a saucepan. Add spaghetti, stir to separate and boil until just al dente (about 2 minutes less than the cooking instructions on the packet). Drain pasta, reserving cooking water, and transfer pasta immediately to a warmed mixing bowl. Gradually add pecorino, pepper and 180ml pasta water while mixing with tongs.
- 2Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and pasta mixture and toss constantly using tongs to amalgamate the water and cheese into a thin sauce consistency that coats the pasta well (20-30 seconds). Serve hot with extra pepper and pecorino.
Durum wheat spaghetti such as Rustichella is available from select Italian delicatessens such as Enoteca Sileno.