If you weren't able to book an Italian getaway this summer, consider N.Y.C. superchef Mario Batali's cacio e pepe your one-way ticket to the Eternal City. While the iconic pasta dish traditionally calls for spaghetti, Batali, who serves up Roman cuisine at his Greenwich Village restaurant, Lupa, opts for rigatoni instead.
"The local cuisine of Rome is deeply rooted in history, but the cooking is ever-evolving thanks to the hundreds of recipe variations that differ from chef to chef and the influences from neighboring regions," Batali tells InStyle. Plus, the noodles are perfect for soaking up the thick, creamy sauce. Whip up a bowl (or four) in 30 minutes or less with the below recipe.
Rigatoni Cacio e Pepe
Makes 4 servings
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 lb uncooked rigatoni pasta
1 tbsp black pepper
8 oz grated Cacio de Roma cheese, about 2 cups ($10/8 oz; rakuten.com)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Bring 3 quarts water and salt to a boil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add rigatoni; boil until al dente, about 11 minutes.
2. While pasta cooks, combine pepper and 1 3/4 cups of cheese in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cup of the boiling pasta water; stir vigorously until mixture forms a pasta, about 30 seconds.
3. Once pasta is ready, drain, shake off excess liquid, and immediately transfer to bowl with cheese mixture. Add oil; toss quickly to completely coat the pasta.
4. Divide pasta evenly among 4 plates; garnish with remaining cheese.