This is my favorite pasta dish!
It's a cheese and pepper pasta that is very popular in Italy. This isn't at all the traditional recipe. The original doesn't use lemon or arugula. But so what. I love the added pepperiness from the arugula and the zippy zip from the lemon.
It's so ridiculously easy and insanely delicious.
The key to this dish is using the pasta water in the sauce. It's what makes this such a creamy delicious spoon licker. So make sure you don't toss the water out or you will just make sticky cheesy pasta. Also, make sure you grate the cheese with a zester so the cheese is nice and fluffy, like cotton candy. This will help it melt nicely into the sauce.
1. Bring a large skillet or sauté pan of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. You only need to add water to just cover the pasta. Do not drain the pasta! You will be transfering the pasta with tongs into another Saute pan.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. You don't want this to burn. Add the cracked pepper and cook 2-3 minutes infusing the olive oil with the pepper. Set aside until the pasta is finished cooking.
3. Once the pasta is cooked, do not drain the water. Turn the heat back to medium-low on the pan with the oil. Use tongs to transfer the pasta into the pepper-infused olive oil. Stir the butter until melted. Mix in 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Then add the parmesan and pecorino, tossing until melted. Remove from the heat, add the arugula and lemon zest, toss until the greens are wilted and the sauce coats the pasta. You may need to add in more pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. I use about 1 cup of the pasta water in total. Add salt to taste and more pepper if you like.