Cacio e pepe, but make it risotto. A classic Roman dish of cheese (cacio) and pepper (pepe) is super simple to make and requires only a few ingredients. This risotto uses water instead of stock to really let the Pecorino Romano flavour sing.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 eschallot
- 1 celery stick
- 100ml dry white wine
- 350g risotto rice
- 2 litres water
- 50 unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 100g Pecorino Romano, finely grated (plus extra to serve)
- Pop the eschallot and celery into a blender and give it whizz to form a paste.
- On a low heat, add the olive oil to a large pan, shortly followed by the eschallot and celery. Sauté gently for about 10 minutes.
- In another saucepan bring around 2 litres of water to a low simmer - this will act as your stock.
- Back to the main pan, add the white wine and let that cook for a few minutes before adding in the rice. Stir well to coat the rice in all of the beautiful juices in the pan. After a minute or so the rice will start to turn opaque - indicating this is when you need to start adding water.
- Add water one ladle at a time, stirring frequently to help bring out the starch in the rice. Never let the rice completely dry out before adding your next ladle. Continue adding water by the ladle until the rice is cooked through and with a very slight bite to it - around 15-20 minutes. The consistency shouldn’t be gloopy or clumpy - you should be able to use a spoon to part the risotto and it quickly fall back to the centre.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, ground black pepper and grated Pecorino Romano. Stir to combine, check for seasoning and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving. If you feel the risotto has stiffened too much over this time, add a half ladle of water and stir through before serving.
- Serve in a shallow plate, letting the risotto spill out to cover the base. Add extra black pepper and a dusting of grated Pecorino Romano.
This recipe was created by Gabriella from @_noregrettispaghetti, check out Gabriella's instagram page here or website here.
Gabriella is a Londoner born to Armenian/Canadian parents, with a love of all things Italian, especially pasta. She fell in love with food between the pages of her mum’s Reader’s Digest cookbooks, and at the table of her grandmother’s Cypriot kitchen, watching dolma be rolled and lahmajun made.
When she’s not making her favourite carb, she can be found sharing some of her recipes on her blog, drinking far too much coffee, or hanging out with her dog, Gordon.