How to Make Cacio e Pepe That Tastes Like It's Straight Outta Rome! by Donna John

Pasta Dinner
a year ago
How to Make Cacio e Pepe That Tastes Like It's Straight Outta Rome!

Americans have mac and cheese. The Romans have cacio e pepe ("cheese and pepper"). I was lucky enough to eat this dish in Rome a couple years ago. There are no words…

You’ll need:

  • 6 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino cheese

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Cook the spaghetti in salted water until it’s firm, not tender. Drain and reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. While the pasta cooks, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet. Add the pepper and cook, stirring, about 1 minute.
  3. Add in about a 1/2 cup of pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add remaining butter and pasta. Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted. Add Pecorino cheese, remove pan from heat and stir until cheese melts (use tongs).
  4. Add a little more pasta water, if needed.
  5. Pour into a large pasta serving bowl and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Serve immediately. 

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Christine Jones
I'm making this for dinner tonight Donna John! I always wondered why my pasta with butter and cheese never tasted as good and now I see why-- it's all in step 3!
Donna John
It's crazy how Italians can take such a small amount of ingredients and make something amazing! Hope ya'll enjoy it, Chrissy Jones!
Kelli Schulte
Oh my gosh....my kids grew up on this meal Donna John! Always a favorite in the lunch box thermos! Step 3 is the secret!! Total game changer!! : )
Christine Jones
Donna John I finally made this tonight and it was so good! I'm adding it to our rotation. And I bet the leftovers would be even better (if I had any)!
Donna John
So glad you liked it, @beyondthepark. And yes, leftovers are good, too!

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