1 lb/455 g pasta like spaghetti, bucatini, or linguini
Fine sea salt
¼ cup/60 g unsalted butter
2 tsp ground black pepper like Tellicherry, Malabar, Vietnamese, or Sarawak plus extra for garnish
1 ½ cups/90 g finely grated Pecorino Romano plus extra for garnish
- Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Reserve the pasta cooking water.
- Prepare the cheese sauce for the pasta. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once the butter starts to sizzle, add the black pepper and swirl until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. Pour the warm butter mixture into a blender. Add the Pecorino Romano and 1 ¼ cups/300 ml hot pasta water. Blend until smooth and emulsified. The sauce should be creamy and thick; if you want it thinner, add 1 to 2 Tbsp of hot pasta water. Pour the sauce over the pasta and fold to coat well. Serve immediately and garnish with additional grated Pecorino Romano and other ground black pepper if desired.
- Avoid oversalting the pasta cooking water. The pecorino romano contains salt too.
- The success of this sauce’s creaminess depends on using high-speed to blend all the ingredients together to create an emulsion. A high-speed blender will accomplish this with ease.