Mark Moriarty’s rigatoni cacio e pepe

Serves: 2
Course: Main
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Prep Time: 5 mins
  • 180g dried rigatoni pasta
  • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1tbs black pepper, from a pepper mill
  • 1tbs salted butter
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Place a pot of boiling, salted water on the heat. Add the rigatoni and cook for 9-10 minutes until just cooked – it should hold its shape but be soft to bite into.
  2. Place the grated Parmesan into a bowl and set aside.
  3. When the pasta is nearly done, place a pan on a low heat and toast the pepper for 30-60 seconds, just to release the aromas.
  4. Add two ladles of the pasta water and the butter to the pan with the toasted pepper and boil over a high heat until it begins to thicken slightly.
  5. Strain the rigatoni, keeping some more of the pasta water in case you need to add it later. Add the rigatoni to the pan and stir well to coat the pasta with the peppery pasta water.
  6. Take the pan off the heat to cool slightly for one minute, and then add the grated cheese and mix the pasta in the pan, until you have a creamy sauce that coats the rigatoni.
  7. Add a small amount of the reserved pasta water if needed to achieve that beautiful sheen-like sauce, adjust your seasoning with the squeeze of lemon juice and a touch more salt.
  8. Serve in warm bowls and garnish with some more grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.
Mark Moriarty

Mark Moriarty

Mark Moriarty is an award winning chef, TV host, author and Irish Times columnist.