Cacio e Pepe….my taste of Rome

cacio e pepe

My exchange daughter from Palermo was right.  When in Rome, you must try the Cacio e Pepe.  Very simple ingredients; VERY wonderful taste.  The recipe below is the best attempt at recreating the dish I experienced in Rome.  Enjoy!

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

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil.  Season with  salt; add pasta and cook,  stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before  tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over  medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1  minute.

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 Grana Padano,  stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. 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.) Transfer pasta to  warm bowls and serve.  If you like more cheese or more pepper, have at it!  This recipe does not need to be followed exactly.  It varies depending on my mood or audience. 

Note:  In Rome, most every dish is served al dente.  We sure cook the $**#& out of our pasta in America.  It was a great surprise for me.

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3 thoughts on “Cacio e Pepe….my taste of Rome

  1. Looks wonderful and delectable as well. You have a great blog here.

    Here is a recent Italian dish I made: Sweet Basil and Oregano Bruschetta Chicken – the link: http://www.savorthefood.com/blog/youre-invited-for-pasta/ .

    Look around Fun with Food while you are there. We invite you to follow, just hit the subscribe box or leave your e-mail to receive future posts. Also finds us at Savor the Food http://www.savorthefood.com.

    Looking forward to more from I’ll Have What She’s Having. 🙂

    Chef Randall
    http://www.savorthefood.com

  2. Here is an update. I made this on Saturday for 32 prom kids. I was able to make the sauce and pasta separately and toss together as I served. For a more “saucy” pasta, add more starch water to the butter. I also increased the cracked pepper. It really left a wonderful feeling in your mouth. The bite from the pepper and the texture from the peppercorn. Kids LOVED it!

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