Sometimes you just need something fast and easy but equally delicious. This is kind of a cheats cacio e pepe, using a cream base rather than pasta water. Italian purists will despair with the use of creme fraiche but I'm not here to be traditional! Sometimes taste matters more and I love the tangy note that it brings to the sauce. It's a dream to melt the parmesan into.
Easy creamy peppery pasta sauce
I am writing up this super easy and delicious creamy pepper pasta sauce as it is only sitting on a reel at the moment and it deserves a place here. Yes, it's so simple and probably doesn't even need a recipe but I think the ratios are perfect! In saying that feel free to change the amounts of things, for example you might want more or less pepper. Just taste as you go! I love using creme fraiche as it is really easy to make a sauce with, parmesan melts into it perfectly. I have used a hand rolled pici pasta but it will work with any pasta shape, fresh or dried.
Ingredients for this creamy peppery sauce
Pasta - Obviously! Use anything fresh or dried, this sauce will work with any shape.
Butter - I always prefer to use unsalted so I can season the sauce myself but use whatever you have just be aware salted butter could be too salty.
Black pepper - I always freshly crack pepper right before making it, it's a great wrist work out! Feel free to use more or less depending on your preference for heat.
Pasta water - Pasta water really is your friend here, it loosens the sauce and helps the pasta cling to the pasta perfectly.
Creme fraiche - No it's not traditional but it adds a wonderful tang to sauces and it's so easy to turn into a sauce.
Parmesan - Always try and use the best you can afford. I always finely grate it on a microplane, it needs to be really fine to melt into the sauce well.
Making the pici pasta
I have used a hand rolled pici pasta which I have a full tutorial for. You should definitely try and make it! All it takes is flour, water and olive oil and it is so simple to make! I often suggest pici as a great first recipe if you have never made your own pasta and it requires hardly any equipment. It's a rustic pasta and shouldn't be perfect so there's no pressure. Another easy one to try for this sauce is my hand rolled gnocchi sardi or homemade pappardelle.
Why pasta water is your best friend!
You'll hear me harp on about the magic that is pasta water in 99% of my recipes. It really is a key ingredient in every sauce I make. The starch left behind in the water acts as a thickening agent and helps sauces cling to the pasta. I couldn't make a sauce without it. I never EVER drain my pasta in a colander, I always transfer it directly to the sauce using a spider strainer. That way the pasta pot full of water is left there for you to ladle in as you need. if you have seen my reels on instagram you'll notice my sauces are SAUCY. Pasta soaks up liquid so quickly so I add enough pasta water to make it quite liquidy. By the time I serve into bowls and take to the table it hasn't dried up. You'll get to know what the right consistency is with some practice, you can't go wrong though I promise!
Made this recipe and loved it?
I would love love LOVE if you could leave me a review down below and let me know what you thought! I love to hear any changes or adaptions you have made too. Also if you put a photo on instagram, please tag me so I can see, it makes my day!Print