This page may contain affiliate links. So I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. This post is about the incredible pasta dish called Cacio e Pepe!
Cacio e Pepe = Heaven on a plate. WOW.
Movie Night "Cleopatra"
Recently we watched Cleopatra, the 1963 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. This was a lavish film, and I have to say that Elizabeth Taylor was the most amazing Cleopatra!
On movie nights, I enjoy cooking a meal to accompany the film we are going to watch. The meal I choose is somehow inspired by the film. The inspiration could be something actually eaten in the film, or the setting. In this case, it was the setting (or one of the settings).
Cleopatra is set both in Egypt and in Rome. Because the film is rather lengthy, we actually split it up into 2 separate evenings. The first evening we dined on a dish called koshari, the national dish of Egypt (click here for the recipe)! It was super fun enjoying koshari to honor the Queen of the Nile. 🙂
The second evening I chose a Roman inspired dish...Cacio e Pepe. This is a dish from modern Rome, not ancient Rome. 🙂 I looked at the ancient Roman dishes and really didn't fancy dining on dormouse, so opted for a great modern Roman dish instead. 🙂
What is Cacio e Pepe?
Cacio e Pepe can be translated as "cheese and pepper." This dish is simplicity at its best. Here are the ingredients:
- Pecorino Romano cheese (grated)
- Salt to taste
Five ingredients and a quick few minutes of your time and you are on your way to PASTA HEAVEN!
Reserved Pasta Water is KEY
Ok so you will also add some of the reserved pasta water which you will collect just prior to draining your pasta. This is critical! The starchy reserved pasta water will combine with the grated pecorino and butter to form the most delicious and silky smooth sauce. 🙂
The Method To Make Cacio e Pepe
Making Cacio e Pepe couldn't be simpler. Truly the hardest part is grating the cheese! 🙂
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano is the way to go. If you don't have Pecorino Romano, then you can substitute parmesan, but try to use Pecorino if you can.
You can use a box grater to grate your cheese, or even better, use my favorite tool to grate hard cheese...the Zyliss Cheese Grater!
I learned about this cheese grater from Olive Garden. Our server was using this grater and recommended it. If it's good enough for Olive Garden, it's good enough for me!
Why Should You Make Cacio e Pepe?
You should make this dish because it is 5 star! Super easy, budget friendly absolutely delicious, company worthy, etc. etc.
Dining on this dish will transport you to Rome. You can imagine that you are eating in an Italian Ristorante whilst enjoying this dish. 🙂
Some Other Recipes You May Enjoy!
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Cacio e Pepe
- 16 oz spaghetti
- 4 tablespoon butter cut into tbsps (4x 1 tbsp)
- 2 ts pepper freshly ground is wonderful but pre ground is ok too!
- 2 cups Pecorino Romano cheese grated, plus additional for garnish!
- salt to taste
- Grate the Pecorino Romano cheese and set aside. Slice your butter into tbsps and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Just prior to draining the pasta, be sure to reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Set this aside, and then drain.
- Add the pasta back to the cooking pot with stove set to low, and then add your butter and pepper and 2 cups of grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Stir, and begin adding small amounts of the reserved pasta water. You want to continue slowly stirring and slowly adding the reserved water, until a silky smooth sauce has been achieved. Please note you may NOT use all of the reserved water. We want to have enough to use though just in case it is needed.
- Add salt to taste. Prepare to serve by adding additional Pecorino Romano and pepper. Enjoy!