The Middle Ages
were rich with culinary
heat from some pepper.
LONG PEPPER (piper longum) is from the same family as BLACK PEPPER and is grown in both India and Indonesia. Introduced to Europe before black pepper, it was highly prized throughout the Roman Empire, even more so than BLACK PEPPER.
Long pepper has a sweet, earthy almost mushroom-like fragrance. The taste is both bitingly hot and sweet with the underlying taste of black pepper.
Cacio e Pepe
- 1 Tbsp Pink Peppercoens
- 1 Tbsp Long Pepper
- 454g spaghetti
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 115g Pecorino Romano - finely grated
- flaky salt to taste
Roast the peppercorns over medium heat in a skillet until fragrant - around 3 minutes. Then crush them in a mortar & pestle until coarsely ground - you can also put them on a cutting board and cover them with a tea towel and crush with a pan, hammer, whatever you have on hand.
- Cook your pasta in salted water until done al dente - remove 1/2 cup of the pasta water and put aside. Drain your pasta. Whisk the cornstarch into the reserve water.
- In a skillet add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and then add the grated cheese. Cook and whisk until the sauce thickens - 3/4 minutes.
- Take it off the heat and add the cooked pasta and 3/4 of the crushed peppercorns blending everything together and salting to taste.