Cacio e Pepe is an Italian dish with a long and storied history. A classic Roman dish, it dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was a simple meal of pecorino cheese and freshly cracked black pepper. Despite its simplicity, the combination of flavors is incredibly complex and satisfying.
Cacio e Pepe is a pasta dish made with long, thin spaghetti, Pecorino cheese, and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. While some recipes call for butter or cream, it is traditionally made with only cheese, pepper, and olive oil. The pasta is cooked in salted water and then drained, reserving some of the cooking liquid. The cheese and pepper are added to the hot pasta, along with some of the cooking liquid, and then it is mixed until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened.
Make Your Own Upscale Cacio e Pepe
Making an upscale twist on Cacio e Pepe at home is easy and can be done in just a few steps. To make this version of the dish, you will need 1/2 pound of spaghetti, 1/2 cup of freshly grated Pecorino cheese, 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of butter, plus more for garnish.
To begin, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. When done, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the spaghetti.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the cooked spaghetti and toss to coat. Reduce the heat to low and add the Pecorino cheese, black pepper, and reserved cooking liquid. Toss until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened.
To finish, top the pasta with an extra tablespoon of butter and more freshly grated cheese. Serve with a sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper. For an optional way to add some spice, you can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a subtle kick.
Cacio e Pepe is a classic Italian dish that is simple, yet incredibly flavorful. With this upscale twist, you can upgrade the classic dish and enjoy a delicious meal in just a few minutes.
How about a great app to get the meal started? This Caprese Salad recipe will pair nicely.