Friday, June 15, 2012

Less is More: Cacio e Pepe

I am starting to realize sometimes less is more. It is a rare event that I will actually make a recipe that has more than 10 ingredients so when I heard about this recipe from my friend Darci, I was ready to cook it immediately. She ate this when we went to  Eataly in NYC and once I saw ( and tasted) this simple dish I was hooked! I figured what better recipe to follow than Mario Batali's!

Cacio e pepe translates to cheese and pepper. See? I told you this was simple. There is something about pasta coated with flecks of black pepper and cheese that makes an Italian girl happy like this dish does. Even the preparation of this dish is super simple. Since there are so few ingredients, I would suggest using good quality cheese and pasta. How can you go wrong with real parmigiano- reggiano cheese?  There is nothing that makes me happier than curling up on the couch with a huge bowl of pasta. It is such a comfort food for me. That is exactly what I did and it made me so happy! So make this simple dish as soon as you can and enjoy a little piece of Italian comfort food.

What comfort foods make your day?

Cacio e Pepe












  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound dried linguine
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

 Method( Serves 6):

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt.
Meanwhile, set another large pot over medium heat, add the pepper, and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the oil and butter and stir occasionally until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat.
Drop the pasta into boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the oil and butter mixture, then add the pasta and stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated. Stir in the cheeses (add a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce) and serve immediately, with additional grated Parmigiano on the side.


  1. This looks amazing! Do you know the WW Points for this recipe?

    1. Hey Amanda! I don't. :(

      I'm not sure how to calculate the points but between the pasta, grated parm, oil, and butter you can individually get the points. Sorry!!My guess.. it isn't low in pts. :)

    2. Hey Amanda,

      I found a WW Points calculator online and it looks like the following breakdown:

      EVOO: 22 pts
      Butter: 18 pts
      Pasta: 41 pts
      Both Cheeses: 2 pts (total)
      Total: 83 Pts

    3. ps - the pasta i chose for calculating was whole wheat

    4. Thanks Toby! Then divide by 6 for the serving size: so about 13 points per serving.

  2. What a great idea! It's such a simple dish and I think with quality pasta and cheese it will be delicious... And I agree with you that pasta is great comfort food. For me, anything with lots of cheese is comfort food on some level, really.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I agree that sometimes simple is best and I do like black pepper on pasta!