Have you ever had, or made Cacio e Pepe? If not, you are missing out. Not only is it super easy to make during the week, but it is divine. Creamy, and peppery, this Roman dish with cheese, pasta, and black pepper. Lots of cheese and pepper. I was thinking, in particular of my wife and kids as they are pasta lovers. Me? If I am eating some type of pasta, I like it in Asian cuisine. Don’t get me wrong, I will take down lots of Italian food, but I don’t crave it as much as my wife and kids do.
Let’s get started on this super simple recipe.
- 1 lb of pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettuncine), chose one and cook before al dente
- 1/4 cup of salt, more to taste
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups of finely grated parmesan cheese, or pecorino romano (preferred)
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 2 tbsp slightly course cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp good olive oil to finish, optional
Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the salt once boiling, then add in your pasta. Cook the pasta slightly before al dente, and then reserve a cup or so of the pasta water.
Next, have a skillet ready large enough to hold the pasta. Melt the butter, then add about a cup of the pasta water to the butter. Feel free to whisk this for a few seconds.
Add the cheese to the water and butter, and stir. Add a bit more water, maybe a quarter cup, and keep stirring. Add in the black pepper, and stir some more. Now add your pasta to the skillet. Toss the pasta to evenly coat it with the cheese sauce. If you see the pasta drying up a bit, add some more water. You want this pasta to be velvety, not lumpy.
Once you are satisfied, feel free to let it rain with more pepper and cheese and a good drizzle of olive oil.
This is one of those dishes my kids loved. It seemed like I blinked my eye and BOOM, gone. That’s always, always a great sign. Hope you enjoy!