Dried pasta, which cooks in roughly 10-12 minutes, depending on its shape and your taste, isn’t always the first thing I reach for when time is of the essence, but this Roman classic is so wonderfully simple, both in terms of ingredients and preparation, that it takes some beating. And if you think it’s quick to make, wait until you see how fast it disappears.
2 tsp black peppercorns (see step 2)Salt200g spaghetti (see step 4)80g pecorino romano, at room temperature (see step 6)
This is one recipe where I’d go further than strongly recommending you read it through before starting; I absolutely demand it. It all comes together very quickly at the end, and any hesitation will make things a lot harder. Once you’ve done this, put two serving plates or bowls into a low oven to warm up (or fill them with hot water).
As the dish’s name suggests, pepper is a key flavouring here, so although you could just use your everyday pepper grinder, I think it’s worth warming up the peppercorns first, so they pack as much punch as possible. Toast the peppercorns in a hot, dry pan and, once they start to smell fragrant, tip out into a mortar and roughly crush…