Cacio e Pepe Pasta Recipe

Cacio e Pepe Pasta
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 20 mins | Active Time: | Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Those of you who think all pasta sauces are long-simmered affairs will be relieved to discover that this incredibly simple dish requires only four ingredients and a few minutes of your time. This pasta, with its sting of cheese and bite of pepper, proves that simple is by no means boring.

This recipe was featured as part of our Winter Cabin Fever story.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 pounds dried spaghetti
  • 3 1/2 cups Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated on the small holes of a box grater (about 8 ounces)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into tablespoon-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Bring a large pot (at least 12 quarts) of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water.
  2. Return pasta and cooking water to the pot and place over low heat. Add remaining ingredients and stir until cheese and butter have melted and formed a creamy sauce, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, and serve with additional cheese if desired.

Beverage pairing: Iron Horse Vineyards Rosato di Sangiovese, California. A white wine might be the first thing that comes to mind for a dish flavored with spice and cheese, but the bright red berry fruit in this rosé makes a nice contrast with all the black pepper, and the wine has plenty of vibrancy to stand up to the cheese.