Cacio e Pepe (cheese & pepper pasta) is a delicious and versatile pasta dish. It’s light enough to be served as a side, yet fulfilling enough to be served as a main dish. Cacio e Pepe is surprisingly creamy, without any added cream. It’s amazing what warm pasta cooking water and cheese does in making a sauce! Delicious! We love spice, so I added the *optional red pepper flakes and some extra fresh cracked pepper upon plating. Be warned that pepper can get a bit spicy, start small and add more to suit your taste.
If you don’t own a zester/microplane, I highly recommend you add one to your utensil drawer. I use mine to grate parmesan cheese, zest citrus, garlic, and even chocolate.
Seriously delicious, right?
My version of Cacio e Pepe (cheese & pepper pasta) has been adapted from Bon Appetit.
- 1# Bucatini Pasta
- 6 TBSP butter
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
- **optional** ½ tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your spice level)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated, I used my zester)
- ½ cup Pecorino cheese (freshly grated, I used my zester)
- *Optional topping: 2 TBSP fresh chopped flat leaf parsley & extra freshly grated cheese
- **Reserve 1 cup of warm pasta cooking water**
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, melt butter in large sauté pan over med/low heat. Add whole garlic cloves & pepper. Saute pepper and garlic on low for 2-3 minutes. Remove garlic.
- When pasta is finished cooking, scoop out 1 cup pasta water and set aside. Drain remaining pasta (do not rinse).
- To saute pan, add pasta, ¾ cup pasta water. Using tongs, mix together.
- Add cheeses and continue to mix with tongs until cheese is melted and well combined. Add remaining pasta water if needed.
- Serve and top with fresh chopped parsley and extra grated cheese.