On our recent trip to Chef Fest — Made In America, a chef-studded food and cooking event at Hawaii’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalei, we learned to make pasta cacio e pepe, a classic Italian comfort food mastered by Osteria Mozza Executive Chef (and 2012 James Beard Award Best New Chef) Matt Molina.

Use any kind of pasta you like. Restaurants typically use spaghetti or other long noodles, but Molina made it at the demo with rigatoni to great success. It’s more about technique than pasta shape.

That said, follow Molina’s technique or you may end up with an unappetizing plate of stringy goo congealed around lovely (albeit oily) al dente pasta. Whatever you do, don’t drain that pasta water before reserving enough to make the sauce — that’s right, the sauce is made from pasta water, grated pecorino, olive oil and strategy. Your attention will be very handsomely rewarded: a sharp, creamy, peppery, very addictive pasta with only five ingredients. Six, if you count your attention to detail.