Home-Cooking: Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper Pasta)

I tasted the dish known as “Cacio e Pepe” or “Cheese and Pepper” pasta for the first time at Eataly. It was incredibly simple, yet so delicious. It was hard to believe that I could count the number of ingredients on one hand that went into such a tasty dish.

This is a must-try for pasta lovers who are looking for a different take on your standard spaghetti and meatballs, which don’t get me wrong, is also one of the best foods to exist.

Cacio e Pepe requires just 5 ingredients, and for that reason it makes for a great evening dish that’s simple and doesn’t take too long. Ingredients needed are: Pecorino Romano cheese, black pepper, olive oil, butter and spaghetti noodles.

I got my inspiration for this dish from Serious Eats.

The first step was heating up olive oil and pepper.

peckishcacio

I followed the recipe pretty much step by step, but I may have used a little more cheese than necessary. The cheese has a very strong flavor–and it was a little too strong in my re-creation–a criticism that both Wes and I had.

As the oil heats up, we cooked the pasta “al dente” per the instructions in the recipe.

peckishcacio2

The pasta is then mixed in with the oil, pepper, and butter. Cheese is added and melted.

One thing I think I could have improved here was allowing the cheese to melt a little more. I think a higher temperature after the pasta has been transferred would have helped with this.

Wes says, “I was hoping for something very simple and delicious. I heard some of the best dishes are very simple dishes.”

The final product:

peckishcacio3

Wes continued: “It tasted alright, but the cheese was overwhelming, it was very strong. The noodles were cooked perfectly.”

Would we eat it again? Yes, but we’d cut amount of cheese in half.

Overall, it was a good meal, if slightly bold in flavor.

 

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