This is one of my all time favorite pasta dishes. Although it has simple ingredients, it can be very difficult to get right. Ina Garten’s recipe is the only one I have come across that is basically foolproof. The original recipe can be found on food network Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper
1 tablespoon whole black Tellicherry peppercorns (I use whatever I have)
1/2 pound dried Italian egg pasta, such as tagliatelle (I use 1 pound spaghetti)
1 cup freshly grated aged Pecorino Romano cheese (4 ounces), plus extra for serving (If I don’t have pecorino I use parmesan)
2 tablespoons heavy cream (I use half-and-half)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I use salted)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves (I skip this)
Place the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and crush them until you have a mixture of coarse and fine bits. (You can also grind them in a small food mill or coffee grinder.) Set aside. I JUST USE A REGULAR PEPPER MILL
Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package until al dente.
Before you drain the pasta, ladle 1 cup of the pasta cooking water into a glass measuring cup and reserve it.
Drain the pasta quickly in a colander and return the pasta to the pot with a lot of the pasta water still dripping.
Working quickly, with the heat on very low, toss the pasta with 1/2 cup of the grated Pecorino, the crushed peppercorns, cream, butter, parsley, and 1 teaspoon salt, tossing constantly. If the pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking water. Off the heat, toss in the remaining 1/2 cup Pecorino. Serve immediately with a big bowl of extra grated Pecorino for sprinkling.