Cacio e Pepe pasta (Cheese and pepper pasta )

8 oz. Spaghetti or other similar shaped pasta
1 C. Parmesan or Romano cheese divided
2 T. Butter
1 T. Fresh cracked peppercorns

Generously fill a medium skillet with water, add salt, bring to a boil and cook pasta as directed. While pasta is cooking, prepare a medium sauté pan over low heat with a drizzle of olive oil and the fresh cracked pepper. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the starchy pasta water and cracked peppercorns to the sauté pan, heat until fragrant.
Add ˝ of cheese and let melt, stir together and whisk to combine into a paste like sauce. Add more of the starchy water as necessary. Looking for a cream like consistency.
Strain water from pasta and add pasta to skillet with sauce. Alternatively, using tongs, transfer the cooked pasta to the sauté pan.
Toss pasta in sauté pan turning to coat all strands of pasta, over low heat, adding more cheese and/or starchy water as needed. Serve immediately, top with remaining cheese and more pepper as desired.

*I undercook pasta by 1-2 minutes (based on preparation time) to ensure it’s al-dente
* The above recipe is for about 2 servings and can be easily doubled.
* Add crushed peppers for a kick of heat and color
* Add fresh chopped garlic to pepper corns for even more flavor