spaghetti with pecorino romano and black pepper

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Servs: 4   Prep:

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  • add   2 teaspoons black peppercorns<br> 1/2 lb spaghetti<br> 2 1/2 oz very finely grated Pecorino Romano (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) or Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional for serving

Instructions

  1. Toast peppercorns in a dry small skillet over moderately high heat, swirling skillet, until fragrant and peppercorns begin to jump, 2 to 3 minutes. Coarsely crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or wrap in a kitchen towel and press on peppercorns with bottom of a heavy skillet.
  2. Cook spaghetti in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
  3. Fill a large glass or ceramic bowl with some hot water to warm bowl. Just before spaghetti is finished cooking, drain bowl but do not dry.
  4. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta quickly in a colander (do not shake off excess water) and add to warm pasta bowl. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese and 3 tablespoons cooking water evenly over spaghetti and toss quickly. If pasta seems dry, toss with some additional cooking water.
  5. Divide pasta among 4 plates, then sprinkle with pepper and 2 tablespoons cheese (total). Serve immediately with additional cheese on the side.