Cacio means "cheese" in Italian and Pepe means black pepper. Cacio e Pepe is an Italian pasta dish that is perfect for one of those "nothing in the house to make for dinner" nights because a well-stocked pantry usually has pasta, salt, pepper, and cheese on-hand. The classic dish calls for only these four ingredients ...plus the addition of some pasta water to melt the cheese and help coat the pasta.
I have added butter and olive oil for the taste and texture but feel free to leave them out if you want the classic version. I also was inspired by the addition of greens that I first had in a restaurant in Italy many years ago. The arugula provides a peppery "bite" which is beautiful with the black pepper. A milder take includes baby spinach leaves. Whatever ingredients you choose, Pasta Cacio e Pepe should become a staple in your cooking repertoire. It is just that good. Happy Pasta Week!
Pasta Cacio e Pepe (pasta with pecorino & black pepper)
8 oz fettuccine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, shredded, plus 1 tablespoon
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
handful fresh baby arugula or baby spinach (optional)
Bring a large stockpot full of water to boil. Generously salt water and add the fettuccine. Cook according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain pasta.
Add butter and olive oil to stockpot (off heat). Quickly add cooked pasta, 1/2 cup cheese, a large pinch salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Stir to coat pasta and melt cheese. If the pasta seems dry add pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until creamy.
Taste and add the additional teaspoon pepper if you like it spicy. Stir in the arugula or spinach if desired, sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve immediately.
Winter means comfort food at Food Network and this week we are celebrating Pasta. Do you have a favorite pasta recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network.
- Feed Me Phoebe: Sesame Soba Noodle Salad with Cabbage Slaw
The Mom 100: Creamy Goat Cheese and Spinach Linguine
The Cultural Dish: Homemade Pasta and Top 3 Light and Easy Pasta Recipes
Taste with the Eyes: A Unique Pasta Made of Black Beans - Gluten-Free, Lower-Carb
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Ravioli with Asparagus, Green Pea Sauce & Sauteed Scallops
Red or Green: Pasta Cacio e Pepe (pasta with pecorino & black pepper)
In Jennie's Kitchen: Spaghetti Limone
Dishin & Dishes: The Best Homemade Ravioli Ever
FN Dish: 5 Back-Pocket Pastas That Always Have Your Back