‘Cold Water Is the Key' and More Pasta Pro Tips from an Italian Kitchen

. In "A Rome of One's Own," Rachel Roddy writes about how to live and cook like a Roman, based on her own experience of nearly two decades in the city. She provides a pasta primer and recipe for a simple soup.

‘Cold Water Is the Key' and More Pasta Pro Tips from an Italian Kitchen


Charlotte Druckman

Photographs by Andrea Wyner, The Wall Street Journal

March 23, 2023, 2:00 PM ET

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(3 minutes)


Rachel Roddy, food blogger and columnist, had just returned from visiting a factory of pecorino when we met up in her kitchen in Rome. She admitted to eating a lot of cheese, then returning home to eat more. It was in her spaghetti cacio e pede lunch, which she prepared using the recipe she describes in her new book, "An A to Z Of Pasta: Recipes For Shapes and Sauces from Alfabeto To Ziti and Everything In Between" (Mar. 28, Alfred A. Knopf. This version of the dish requires cold water. She writes that it keeps the temperature low, since too much heat can cause clumps. Mixing the heat in a large bowl is also advisable. The result is a creamy and wavy cacio epepe that curls around the fork and makes my heart skip.

This British expat, who is now a resident of Testaccio in the southwestern city of Rome, has lived there for 18 years. She shares an apartment with Vincenzo Caristia (a Sicilian drummer) and their son, Luca. She said that she believes she retaught how to cook in Italy. She shares some of these lessons, with a special emphasis on her current obsession, pasta, and a recipe that you will use on repeat.