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Best Cacio e Pepe


Best Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Cacio e pepe translates to cheese and pepper.

For the pasta, spaghetti or bucatini are great choices and cook until al dente in rapidly boiling, salted water – about 3 minutes less than what the package cooking time recommends. Then, right before you’re ready to drain, dip a liquid measuring cup into the pot and save some of the starchy, salty water – this will make the sauce smooth, glossy, and emulsified.

For an intense flavor, start with regular old black pepper and toast it in a mixture of butter and oil – essentially, frying it in fat to deepen the flavor. Don’t cook it too long or too hot or the pepper will burn—a minute is perfect. Freshly ground pepper is absolutely key.

For this recipe, use two classic Italian cheeses: Parmesan and Pecorino. Some recipes will have you use one or the other, but a fresh, finely grated mixture of both balances the dish.

Best Cacio e Pepe Cooking Process

In a pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve ⅔ cup pasta water and drain pasta.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil. Add a generous amount of black pepper and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add ⅓ cup reserved pasta water and bring to simmer. Whisk in remaining butter then, using tongs, toss pasta into butter mixture.
Add cheeses and toss constantly until cheese is melty, removing skillet from heat when about half the cheese has melted. (If sauce is too thick, loosen with more pasta water.)

Best Cacio e Pepe Recipe Ingredients

1/2 lb. pasta
2 tablespoon butter, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino, plus more for garnish
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

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