Cacio e pepe, along with carbonara, amatriciana, and gricia, is one of the classics of Roman cuisine. As its name, which means cheese and pepper, suggests, it should also be very simple to make. However, its signature texture, often confused for cream, is often as elusive as the Holy Grail itself.
This recipe is from Tuscany.
Arista is one of the great classics of Tuscan cuisine. People often assume that, considering it is consists of roast pork loin, the name is related to the Italian arrosto, meaning roast. The truth couldn’t be more different and, as with most Italian dishes, there’s a story. Here it is, as told by Pellegrino Artusi—you must know who he is by now, so I’m going to stop telling you. If this is your first time on my blog click here.
Watch me make peposo, an amazing Tuscan winter warmer stew. This dish originated with the workers in the terracotta factories of Impruneta, near Florence, back in medieval times. Like them, I use a traditional terracotta pot, but you could make this in a slow cooker, or a normal dutch oven. Nowadays, some people add a small amount of tomato puree to this dish, but it was invented long before the arrival of the tomato in Italian cuisine. You need to cook this for a minumum of two to three hours: four, five, even six is better. The Tuscans eat this on top of a slice of toasted pane sciocco, which is unsalted, but any good rustic bread will do.
1kg (2 1/4 pounds) beef
18g (2/3 ounce) salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 liter (2 cups) Chianti
4 slices of Tuscan bread
- Put all the ingredients into a terracotta pot, dutch oven, or slow cooker.
- Cover and cook in the oven at 150-160°C (300-320°F) for 2-3 hours.
- Toast the bread and serve the stew on top.