Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is one of my all time favourite pasta dishes. It’s the meal I make every time I’m cooking just for myself because it’s so fast, so easy to throw together, and so good.

It’s literally just cheese and pepper pasta, which sounds so simple but the flavour is incredible. It’s like a grown up mac and cheese, and the large amount of black pepper brings such an amazing warmth.

I use the Bon Appetit recipe, but I often switch up the cheeses I’m using to work with what I’ve got in the pantry – they recommend both pecorino and parmesan, but if you just have one or the other then that’s fine too!

The thing I love most about this recipe is that it takes a max of 20 minutes (including boiling the pasta water) and you’re certain to already have all the ingredients to hand. If you aren’t sure what to make for dinner and are running a little low on supplies, this is the perfect choice!

What you’ll need (serves 2):

  • 200g pasta (bucatini, spaghetti, tagliolini)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 96g finely grated parmesan
  • 43g finely grated pecorino

How to make:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and heavily season with salt (pasta water should taste like sea water). Once boiling, add the pasta and cook 2 minutes shy of al dente.
  2. Whilst the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tbsp butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the pepper and cook for about a minute, until toasted and fragrant.
  3. Add about 120ml pasta water into the frying pan and bring to a simmer, before adding the cooked pasta.
  4. Add the remaining butter and toss, then reduce the heat to low and add the parmesan. Toss the pasta until the cheese has melted.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the pecorino, tossing to melt and adding more pasta water if the sauce seems too dry or if you have any clumps of cheese. The sauce should look smooth and glossy and cling to the pasta.
  6. Transfer the pasta to the bowls and serve as is, or with extra parmesan and pepper if desired.

This is the most perfect weeknight dish, you can serve it with a side salad for a meal that feels super luxurious but takes no time at all.

The thing I love most about this is the addition of the pepper toasted in the butter, the butter brings such richness and the toasted black pepper really creates a complex flavour. If you’re a mac and cheese fan who wants to try something a little fancier, this is the dish for you!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, let me know in the comments if you try out this recipe and what you think! See you next time,

A x

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