Ralph Schelling GmbH
St. Andreas 7
6330 Cham, Switzerland
Mobile +41 79 270 49 51
Festnetz +41 44 500 43 30


Cacio e pepe

The brief for Monocle’s recipe roster errs on the side of the simple, hearty and soulful so our Swiss chef Ralph Schelling has taken it back to basics with this reliable Roman favourite. As with all such recipes, the ingredients are everything but as today’s dish consists of just pasta, cheese and pepper then we’re insisting that you splash out on the best of each you can find. Enjoy.

  • Ingredients: Serves 4
  • 350g spaghetti
  • 150g pecorino romano, grated
  • 4 tsps black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Method:
  • 1. Toast the peppercorns in a pan until they give off a nutty odour then coarsely crush in a pestle and mortar or pepper mill – don’t do it too finely, a little crunch is a good thing.
  • 2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to packet instructions, minus a minute or two to keep it al dente. Pour off the water but keep a big cup (say, 300ml) of the starchy cooking liquid; you’ll need this to bind the mixture.
  • 3. Put the cheese in a large flat bowl and add 2 tsps of the pepper. Mix half of the pasta water (by the spoonful) with the cheese using a fork or whisk to form a paste and gradually a thick sauce. The pasta water can’t be too hot, otherwise the cheese will clump together.
  • 4. Add the pasta to the mixture and stir or toss to coat it with the sauce. If the mixture is too dry, add a few tablespoons of pasta water to loosen it up. Add to deep plates and top off with remaining pepper.


Ralph for Monocle