Umami Cacio e Pepe

Umami Cacio e Pepe


375g Otway's Fettuccine
250g Pecorino romano
1 tsp black peppercorns
5 tsp UmamiPapi Chilli Oil
1 pinch salt flakes


  1. In a pot, fill water halfway to what you normally would, we want the water as concentrated as possible full of starch– lightly salt and bring to a boil.
  2. While your water is boiling, we can get onto prepping out pecorino and black peppercorns.
  3. Microplane just about all your pecorino romano into a wide bowl, reserving a little for serving, we want to microplane to get the thinnest grate as possible to prevent it from clumping in the pasta.
  4. In a mortar and pestle, add in your black peppercorns and grind your peppercorns until you form a fine consistency.
  5. Add in your pasta and submerge it in as much water as possible, we want to cook pasta HALF of the amount of time on the packet (mine said 12 minutes so I cooked it for 6 minutes) 
  6. We want to start the below process 2 minutes before the pasta is half cooked so everything is seamless.
  7. While your pasta is cooking, get a deep cast iron dish on medium heat.
  8. Once heated, add in your crushed black peppercorns (I added in 1 teaspoon but if you prefer it more peppery then add more) then toast for 30 seconds, we don't want this to burn or else it’ll ruin the dish.
  9. Once toasted, add in 1 ladle worth of starchy pasta water, this will boil vigorously but that's okay, get your wooden spoon to incorporate the pepper.
  10. Add ½ cup of starchy pasta water to your pecorino and combine with a fork until a paste form.
  11. Add 3 tsp of UmamiPapi Chilli Oil into the pecorino mixture and mix then set aside.
  12. Remove your pasta using tongs and add to your cast iron dish reserving all the starchy pasta water – this will create the creaminess of this dish.
  13. Mix through the pepper mix and keep it moving with your tongs, we want to release as much starch as possible, and to prevent it from sticking, keep ladling starchy pasta water into the pasta – cook for the remaining time the pasta needs in the cast iron (I set a timer)
  14. The aim is to have it well coated in the pasta water – we never want it dry so don't be afraid to use most of the water.
  15. Remove your pasta from the stove and let it sit for around 1 minute.
  16. After 1 minute spoon in your pecorino mixture and with your tongs mix as fast as you can to prevent the cheese from clumping for a couple of minutes, your pasta should be creamy and luxurious after this.
  17. Serve pasta on a large dish and finish with grated pecorino, and flaky salt and drizzle 2 tsp of UmamiPapi Chilli Oil on top.
  18. Enjoy!