Cacio e pepe is not just an emergency dinner, however. This is one of my favorite simple satisfying pasta dishes. Cacio e pepe simply means cheese and pepper. There’s not much to it, so make sure you use GREAT quality ingredients – that means true Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses and freshly cracked black peppercorns.
Cacio e Pepe
When I'm hungry and unprepared for dinner, this is one of my favorite pasta recipes to turn to. I always have butter and good hard Italian cheeses in my refrigerator. There's always pasta in the cupboard, so this recipe for Cacio e Pepe is always on the menu whether I've gone grocery shopping or not.Jump to Recipe (or scroll for photos...)
Cacio e Pepe
- Prep Time: 5 m
- Cook Time: 12 m
- Total Time: 17 m
- Servings: 4
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese grated (about ¾ cup)
- 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated (about ¾ cup)
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
- Pre-heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and melt. Turn the heat off under the sauté pan but keep the pan on the stovetop.
- Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for the suggested time on the package, until the pasta is al dente.
- When the spaghetti is al dente, reserve one cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the sauté pan, along with ¾ cup of the reserved pasta water. Add the grated cheeses and the black pepper. Toss well, adding more of the reserved pasta water to the pan to lubricate the pasta as necessary.
- Serve in a large bowl with a pepper grinder at the table for those who want more heat. Compliment with a simple green salad.