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African grandmother, mother and daughter preparing food

Source: Ariel Skelley / Getty


3/4 pound spaghetti

3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper



1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cheeses.

2. Return the pasta to the pot. Working quickly, add 6 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, 2 tablespoons at a time, alternating with the cheeses; toss well to thoroughly coat the pasta between additions. Sprinkle on the black pepper and season the pasta with salt; toss again.

3. Transfer the pasta to a warmed serving bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking water, as necessary, tossing until a creamy sauce forms. Serve right away.

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