I like to think of cacio e pepe (Italian for "cheese and pepper") as the Rome's cosmopolitan version of mac and cheese. It's a simple recipe that requires nothing more than spaghetti, cheese, butter, and seasonings. It's ready in a matter of minutes — and always gone even faster than that. For this reason, cacio e pepe is one of the most valued dishes in my weeknight recipe arsenal. Want a plate of this now? Then keep reading.
1 pounds dried spaghetti
2 cups Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch squares
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
- Return pasta and cooking water to the pot and place over low heat. Add remaining ingredients and stir until cheese and butter have melted and formed a creamy sauce, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste, and serve immediately with additional cheese.
Makes 4 servings.
- Main Dishes, Pasta