I start with really good spaghetti, bronze cut and super starchy
Make sure the water is salted and at a rolling boil
I roasted the black peppercorns to bring out more flavor
Mortar and pestle the peppercorns
This is way more garlic than I used, but everybody should have a microplane for cheeses and garlic.
I cooked the garlic in a little bit of olive oil to get the raw garlic taste out.
Be sure to save some pasta water. The starch allows the cheese and the water to create a sauce that coats the noodles.
I use allclad cookware so the garlic (and everything else) likes to stick to the pan. I deglazed the pan with the starchy water.
Once I added the most important part, the cheese. I used parmesan because who I was cooking for doesn't like pecorino, a more traditional cheese. The starter sauce is a little bit thicker than normal water.
The second most important ingredient, more cheese.
I added the black pepper, left some for the side so everyone can season to their own liking as well as the parmesan. I added some fresh basil to add a bit of color and brightness. I've tried adding red chilli flake, parsley, even some crazier combinations like hoisin and hot sauce. You pretty much can't **** this up as long as you follow certain steps.
You need a good bronze cut pasta, spaghetti or bucatini is what I usually use.
Do not skimp out on cheese, use good pecorino or parmesan and grate it yourself. If you use pre-shredded it will not mix into the sauce
SAVE YOUR GOD DAMN PASTA WATER. You can't use normal water.
Toast your peppercorns and be sure to use a good grade. I would also recommend using a method that doesn't pulverize them and instead kind of cracks them open. I used a Mortar and pestle but you could easily use a pan to crack them
Make a starter sauce before you put the pasta in otherwise it'll be too hard to make the sauce.