Warning: This dish is not recognized by any diet on the planet.
When J and I visited Italy this past June, one of our favorite meals in Rome was Cacio e Pepe, translated “Cheese and Pepper”. It got to the point where one of us would order the dish at every meal just to taste that specific restaurant’s version. Cacio e Pepe is simple. The ingredients are pasta, various cheeses, butter, olive oil and black pepper. That’s it!
CACIO E PEPE
2 T butter, divided
1 T extra virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
1/2 pound linguini
3/4 cup grated pecorino
3/4 cup grated parmesan
1 cup reserved pasta water
1. Bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta (el dente) according to the directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
2. In a skillet, melt 1 T of butter with 1 T of oil. Add a generous amount of ground black pepper and simmer for a minute until fragrant. You can always add more pepper later.
3. Whisk in the other tablespoon of butter and about 1/3 cup of the water. Blend well. Add drained pasta and toss.
4. Mix in the cheeses and additional pasta water if needed. Toss and taste. Add more pepper to taste or more pasta water to thin. Enjoy!
Approximate time: 25 minutes
NOTE: This isn’t necessarily a spicy meal, so heat isn’t what you are going for. Enjoy!