This week we decided to share not one but two recipes. Today we bring you a Za'atar Cacio e Pepe recipe for when you feel the need to add a boost of flavor to the traditional dish.
Messing with an Italian classic is not something we often do, but we saw Yotam Ottolenghi doing a Za'atar Cacio e Pepe, and we knew we had to create our own recipe. This recipe doesn't take anything away from the original dish. All it does is add a layer of delicious herbiness that goes hand in hand with the pepper and the cheese.
The technique for getting your cacio e pepe right is not complicated, but you must follow it to a T if you want to get a rich and smooth sauce. Using a wide pan and little water to cook the pasta is essential because it ensures there is a lot of starch in the water, which is the key to getting the sauce to emulsify.
Grate the pecorino as finely as possible, and keep it separated to make sure it melts happily into the sauce. Finally, have everything measured out before you begin cooking; it all happens rather quickly after that.
320 g (11 oz) spaghetti or bucatini
50 g (¼ cup) unsalted butter
10 g (1 tablespoon) za'atar, plus 6 g (1½ teaspoon)
7 g (2 teaspoons) freshly ground black pepper
160 g (4½ oz) pecorino romano cheese, very finely grated
6 g (2 teaspoons) whole marjoram leaves (optional)