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This three-ingredient pasta recipe could be the easiest dinner ever

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Forget the how-to videos and long lists of ingredients. Sometimes, you want something you can put together without even thinking about it, let alone an expensive trip to the grocery store.

Boil some pasta, drain, and season to taste with freshly ground pepper and a sprinkling of pecorino cheese. That’s it. Because some nights, we just want to keep it easy.

SPAGHETTI WITH CRUSHED BLACK PEPPER AND PECORINO CHEESE

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Total time: About 25 minutes | Serves 6
Note: From “Lidia’s Italy.” Use a very good authentic pecorino, one produced in Lazio, Tuscany or Sardinia. The cheese is at its best when aged only 8 to 10 months.

Salt for the pasta water
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, or more to taste
1 pound spaghetti
1 1/2 cups freshly grated pecorino cheese, or more to taste

1. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, grind the peppercorns very coarsely, preferably crushing them in a mortar with a pestle or in a spice grinder.

2. Warm up a big bowl for mixing and serving the pasta -- use some of the pasta water to heat the bowl, if you like. Cook the spaghetti until al dente. Quickly lift it from the pot with tongs, let it drain for an instant, then drop it into the warm bowl.

3. Immediately scatter a cup of the grated cheese and most of the ground pepper on the pasta, and toss in quickly. As you mix, sprinkle over spoonfuls of hot water from the cooking pot to moisten and amalgamate the pasta and condiments -- add more pepper or cheese, or both, to taste. Serve while the spaghetti is very hot.

Each serving: 406 calories; 22 grams protein; 58 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 10 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 30 mg. cholesterol; 516 mg. sodium.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

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