Cacio e Pepe: The Simplest Pasta Dish You'll Ever Make

cacio e pepe Summer is all about simplicity and shortcuts, at least when it comes to mealtimes. Who wants to be cooped up indoors cooking dinner when there's warm weather fun to be had outside? That's where this recipe for Cacio e Pepe -- otherwise known as spaghetti with cheese and black pepper -- comes in. Requiring only a few ingredients and minimal cooking time, this dish is an Italian-style grown-up version of mac 'n' cheese. It's a simple but solid dish that pairs perfectly with summer offerings from the farmers' market -- roasted tomatoes, caprese salad, grilled eggplant crostini ... well, you get the idea.


Cacio e Pepe from Bon Appetit


  • 6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino


1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

2. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and toast -- about 1 minute.

3. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted.

4. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.


Image via whitneyinchicago/Flickr
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