Cacio e Pepe

This simple Italian classic uses just a handful of ingredients and only one pot, leaving you with less cleaning and more time with family. Having dinner ready in under 30 minutes will be a breeze but taste like your favorite North End restaurant.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound tonnarelli, bucatini, or spaghetti
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups of parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cups of pecorino cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, bring 4-6 quarts of water and the 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil on your Wolf Range or Cooktop.
  2. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. The time will vary depending on the type of pasta you used but should be about 8-11 minutes.
  3. Once the pasta is al dente, reserve 3 cups of the pasta water and then strain the pasta into a colander.
  4. In the same pan, add the butter and place over medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the cracked pepper and let toast for one minute.
  5. Add 2 cups of the reserved pasta water. Once simmering, add the parmesan cheese and continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add the pasta and continue stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the pecorino cheese. Continue stirring until the sauce is smooth and sticking nicely to the pasta. If sauce doesn’t look smooth, add the ¼ cup of the remaining pasta water at a time until sauce is smooth.
  6. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper and serve immediately.

*Chef Tips*

Al dente is an Italian phrase that means “to the tooth”, which means the pasta isn’t completely tender and still has a “bite” to it.

Tonnarelli is the traditional pasta used for cacio e pepe, but you will only be able to find it at Italian markets. Bucatini and spaghetti are great substitutes that are more common.