Those that have been to Padella know. Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda, the duo behind Highbury Italian Trullo, decided back in 2018 to venture down to Borough Market and open a pasta bar. And the queues were crazy! All of their pasta is amazing but the true favourite of them all is the Pici Cacio e Pepe!
Here’s a quick recipe that will take you less than an hour to prepare.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
FOR THE CACIO E PEPE SAUCE
butter 80g, cubed
freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp
parmesan 25g, finely grated
FOR THE PICI DOUGH
strong white bread flour 410g
olive oil 2 tbsp
salt 1½ tsp
To make the pici dough, mix the ingredients with 200ml water until it comes together into a dough. Knead on a work surface until smooth for about 10 minutes.
Press into a flat rectangle 2cm thick and cut the dough into 15g strips (weigh them out to check). Cover the strips in clingfilm and leave them to rest for at least 30mins. On a dry, clean work surface (stainless steel or wood, you don’t want something too smooth as a little bit of friction helps) start rolling the strips outwards, with both palms of your hands, applying pressure evenly and pushing out. Basically, you’re making wriggly worms. Repeat until all the dough is used. Cook them straight away, or store them spaced apart lengthways on a heavily floured tray, covered with clingfilm, and refrigerate for no more than 24 hours.
Drop the pici into the salted boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, add the butter, black pepper and some lemon juice (a bit less than half a lemon would do) and simmer until they melt into each other. During the last few minutes of the pasta cooking, add a splash of the cooking water to a saucepan and cook on a low heat for extra flavour
Drain and add the pici to the butter pan when ready (try a piece before draining it, it should be al dente but not chewy). Add the parmesan, but don’t stir it. Leave the parmesan to sit and melt from the heat of the pan – this prevents it from becoming chewy cheesy balls. Once the parmesan has melted, stir the pici and sauce together. Check the seasoning and serve immediately
Source: adaptation from Olive Magazine