Cacio e Pepe is a pasta recipe that has only two ingredients. It’s one of simplest and most delicious dishes you will ever make.
I was first turned on to this meal when visiting the SoLo restaurant; a beautiful farm-to-table gem tucked into a tiny parcel in Vermont. I was with three other fabulous friends enjoying a much needed girl’s weekend and this was our dinner destination one snowy evening.
SoLo makes everything to order and when I learned my dinner choice was no longer a choice, I glanced back at the menu to make another selection. I had originally skipped over the pasta course, because, well, I have pasta all the time and wanted to explore something new. Not sure what else to choose-I “settled” on the plain homemade pepper pasta.
When dinner arrived, I looked at my small, slate grey pottery bowl filled only less than half full, and felt it lacking. However, once the first fork twirl hit my lips, I was in pasta heaven. Not only was it the perfect portion size, but the flavor was so incredible it has stuck with me ever since. I have tried to recreate this dish more times than I can count; I’ve come close a couple of times, but nothing has resulted in the creamy, decadent homemade goodness I enjoyed that evening.
Aside from that memorable experience, I still enjoy this basic pasta dish, especially on busy days. In 10 minutes, you can have dinner on the table.
Cacio e Pepe in Italian means “cheese and pepper” and that’s all this pasta, in its truest form has. You can certainly take liberties and add whatever you want, but to stay as minimalist as possible, cheese and pepper is all you need.
When I made Cacio e Pepe last week and as you may see in the photos, I did take some liberties and added frozen peas. It was still fast (I cooked the peas in the pasta water) and delicious.
A printable recipe for Cacio e Pepe is below
1 box Thin spaghetti, cooked according to package directions.
1 cup pecorino Romano cheese, grated ( I use Locatelli)
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
Bring pot of water to a boil, THEN add enough salt for it to be VERY salty- like the ocean.
Add pasta and cook al dente. (If using peas, add in the pasta water last 2 minutes of cook time)
While pasta is cooking, in sauté pan, (I love my All Clad pan!) melt butter and add freshly ground black pepper to infuse.
When pasta is finished, remove 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
Add pasta to the sauté pan and the reserved pasta water. Stir to coat.
Add grated Romano cheese and gently stir until noodles are coated and creamy.
Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e Pepe is a simple "Cheese & Pepper" pasta and will be your go-to dinner solution on busy days when you're hungry and don't have a lot of time to cook a big meal.
- 1 box Thin spaghetti, cooked according to package directions.
- 1 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated ( I use Locatelli)
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
- Bring pot of water to a boil, THEN add enough salt for it to be VERY salty- like the ocean.
- Add pasta and cook al dente. (If using peas, add in the pasta water last 2 minutes of cook time)
- While pasta is cooking, in sauté pan, melt butter and add freshly ground black pepper to infuse.
- When pasta is finished, remove 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
- Add pasta to the sauté pan and the reserved pasta water. Stir to coat.
- Add grated Romano cheese and gently stir until noodles are coated and creamy.
If you like this pasta recipe, here are a few more you may enjoy!
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