Weeknight Simplicity: Cacio e Pepe

October 20, 2011 § 15 Comments

Oh my goodness is this good and easy!  Recipes like Cacio e Pepe make me question ever attempting complicated dishes when you have ones like this that are so simple, yet produce such a satisfying meal.

Cacio e Pepe, or cheese and pepper pasta, brings together a mere four ingredients- spaghetti, olive oil, pepper, and grated cheese- to create a creamy pasta dish.  Reading through the recipe you may be a little skeptical. Really, the olive oil and pasta water are going to mix with the cheese and pepper to make a sauce? Yes. It’s going to happen. Even when you’re cooking and it feels like it’s not going to come together- it does.

I’m so obsessed with this dish right now, I’m planing to host a dinner party and serve it as the main entrée.  That said, it takes just 30 minutes to prepare, thus making it perfect for a lazy week night meal.  Enjoy!

Cacio e Pepe slightly adapted from Saveur

Serves 4

sea salt, to taste
1 lb. thick spaghetti
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
1 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (good quality!)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling drop your pasta and cook until al dente, 8–10 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water and drain pasta.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add pepper and cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Pour 3⁄4 cup pasta water into skillet and bring to a boil. Using tongs, transfer pasta from your colander to the skillet. Toss gently with the water and oil, coating the noodles. Then sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups grated parm and a large pinch of sea salt (or kosher salt) and toss well, swirling the pasta around the pan for 1-2 minutes until sauce is creamy and clings to pasta. Place pasta in a large serving dish, sprinkle with remaining parm and a little extra pepper.  Serve immediately.

§ 15 Responses to Weeknight Simplicity: Cacio e Pepe

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