Cacio E Pepe Pasta – Only 5 ingredients needed to make this delicious pasta tossed with fresh pepper and pecorino and Parmigiano cheeses. Have dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less
Cacio E Pepe Pasta
Sometimes, the simplest of flavors can be the best ones. Cacio E Pepe pasta is one of the most delicate Italian dishes I’ve ever tried.
This goes to show that when you use high-quality ingredients, less is more. This post is made in partnership with one of these high-quality ingredients: Barilla® pasta and you’ll see how easy it is to make it.
Last week, my husband and I were watching Netflix and stumbled on a show called The Chef’s Table. The first episode featured chef Massimo Bottura from Osteria Francescana in Italy.
Chef Massimo started a social media movement a few years ago when an earthquake threatened to ruin the cheese production in Modena, Italy. Everybody around the world made the same simple dish: Cacio E Pepe Pasta.
Here’s how I made it: I started with butter and pepper (yum!), then I added the cheeses, pasta water and finally the cooked pasta. I tossed everything together and then served it right away. It does not get any easier than that.
Cacio E Pepe is tossed pasta with cheese and pepper. That’s it!
The starch released in the pasta water during the cooking process is the basis for the creaminess in this sauce and of course, the flavor comes from the pepper and Italian cheeses.
I love this dish because not only is it easy to make but the star ingredients are usually used as secondary players in other dishes. Pepper is never the main ingredient of a dish, Parmigiano isn’t either.
They are usually used to support the main ingredient (i.e beef, shrimp, etc). For this Cacio E Pepe Pasta, you can really taste the peppercorn and the flavor of the cheeses.
Nothing else. And in case you’re wondering, you can get all your ingredients at your local Walmart so need for a specialty store.
Instead of using just Parmigiano, I decided to use a combination of Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano.
Both have strong pungent flavors but they also add texture and sweetness to the dish and also, compliment each other perfectly.
Parmigiano is a tad drier and saltier whereas its counterpart is a tad more buttery. So it’s a delicious balance in your palate.
I hope you can make this delicious Cacio E Pepe Pasta at home. If you do, please upload a pic on Instagram and tag me @Livingsweetmoments or use the hashtag #LivingSweet. I promise to repost it.
- 1 lb Spaghetti
- 1 - 2 teaspoons Fresh Cracked Black Pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter cubed
- 1 Cup Pecorino Romano grated
- 1 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated
- Salt, to taste
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add salt and throw in the pasta
Cook spaghetti for 8 minutes (or 1-2 minutes before it becomes al dente)
When the pasta finishes cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest
Meanwhile in another big pot, place 1 Tablespoon of butter and toss in 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper
Let the pepper cook in the butter for 1 minute
Add the cheeses and about 1/2 cup of the pasta (save the rest in case it needs it). Mix with a wooden spoon
Toss in the pasta and let it get coated with the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and let it melt with the pasta
If sauce seems to dry, add more pasta water
Check for seasoning and make the necessary adjustments
Serve the pasta immediately
Garnish with more pepper and cheese on top
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.
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Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen says
This is MY kind of comfort food. Simple and delicious!
Thank you Ashley!