Gather the ingredients.
Heat a heavy skillet on the stove over high heat. Tip in the peppercorns and gently shake the pan over the heat for 1 minute.
Transfer the peppercorns to a mortar and pestle, and crush well; you do not want a powder, the peppercorns should have a little bite to them. Alternatively, crush them under the weight of the heavy bottomed skillet. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, and add the spaghetti or your chosen pasta. After 5 minutes of cooking, pour 1½ cups of the cooking water into a large, heat-proof bowl and allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Let the pasta continue cooking according to the package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, using a small whisk and whisking continuously, slowly add the water to the cheese to create a thick creamy sauce.
Once you have your creamy sauce, add almost all the crushed pepper, reserving a little for garnish.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and tip into the bowl with the cheese and pepper sauce. Stir thoroughly to coat and garnish with additional freshly cracked pepper.