Tuesday, August 5, 2014

cacio e pepe . . . spaghetti with pecorino and pepper

This is a simple and delicious pasta dish.

With few ingredients, the Pecorino Romano and pepper really shine!

So if you love pepper (like I do!) and quick pasta dishes that are packed with flavor, then this recipe is for you.

It's another prize-winning find from my Cooking Illustrated Cookbook.

I was hooked when I read the title 'Cacio e Pepe' translated "Cheese and Pepper."
                Hello! Cheese and pepper and pasta . . . yum!


Just like the Summer Garden Pasta recipe I shared here, preparation is critical to great-tasting pasta. So although this simple pasta dish has an extra step, it's well worth the effort!

As with many few ingredient dishes, high quality ingredients are essential.

IMPORTED Pecorino Romano, not the bland cheese labeled "Romano,' is a must in this pasta dish.


I added fresh Greek basil for a pop of color and freshness, but you could add sweet basil and Italian flat leaf parsley as well.


cacio e pepe
.     .     .     .     .     .
6 ounces IMPORTED Pecorino Romano cheese 
*domestic cheese labeled "Romano" is too bland for this dish 
4 ounces finely grated (about 2 cups) 
*Use small holes on a box grater to grate the cheese finely
2 ounces coarsely grated (about 1 cup) 
*Use large holes on a box grater to grate the cheese coarsely
1 pound spaghetti
table salt
2 Tablespoons heavy cream 
**for a slightly less rich dish, substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
fresh basil and Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
.     .     .     .     .     .

To begin, place finely grated Pecorino in medium bowl; and set a colander in large bowl.

Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Do not adjust the amount of water for cooking the pasta. Add pasta and 1½ teaspoons salt; cook, stir the pasta frequently while cooking so that it doesn't stick to the pot, until al dente

Drain pasta into colander set in bowl, reserving cooking water. Pour 1½ cups cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder; return pasta to now-empty bowl.

Slowly whisk 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water into finely grated Pecorino until smooth. Whisk in cream, oil, and black pepper. 

Gradually pour cheese mixture over pasta, tossing to coat. 

Let pasta rest 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting consistency with remaining ½ cup reserved pasta water. 

Letting the dish rest briefly before serving allows the flavors to develop and the sauce to thicken.

Serve, passing coarsely grated Pecorino separately.

LET'S STAY in touch!

Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations,  StoneGableAn Extraordinary DayBetween Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleChef in Training, The Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeFinding FabulousThe Style Sisters, Fluster Buster  Pure Grace Farms, ,Kitchen Meets Girl, Lady Behind the Curtain Craftie Allie, Fine Craft Guild, Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to Yours Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrow,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, A Dish of Daily Life, The Cottage MarketBacon Time, Sunflower Supper ClubTshirt and Jeans, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods


  1. This looks delicious! That fresh Romano cheese is calling my name!! :)

  2. This looks simple and delicious! Pinning!

  3. Love simple pasta dishes!!! This one looks fantastic!

  4. I love the simplicity of this dish. Pecorino has a delightfully nutty flavor. Simply beautiful. I wanted to let you know I have featured your page and blog on my FB page today. One of my very favorites!

  5. Sounds easy and so delicious, especially with the coarsley grated cheese. I use a lot of locate lily cheese too in my pasta dishes!

  6. Cacio e Pepe has been on my list for a while. Your pictures make me think I should get to it.


  7. These are the best kind of pasta dishes, especially in the summer ! :)

  8. Anonymous8:42 AM

    So simple and yet so delicious looking

  9. Your pasta dishes always look so incredibly amazing!

    I love the simplicity of this recipe, they are often the best with not too many competing flavours.

    Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning :-)

  10. YUM! Past and cheese, the perfect combination. Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY...

  11. This looks delicious! I bet it smells so gooooood!

  12. Anonymous6:35 AM

    My mouth is watering Suzanne, it looks very yummy! Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

  13. My kind of Italian pasta! Pinned on my Italian for Me Please! board.

  14. Yum and what beautiful pics! I'm featuring your pasta tomorrow in my Friday Features!

  15. I love simple pastas like this! It's a perfect dinner for me! Pinning right now. Visiting from #FoodieFridays!

  16. That sounds wonderful! We are making an effort to eat at home more and this simple recipe will be on our menu, for sure. :)


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