Cacio e pepe has been a staple in Roman cuisine for centuries. It's one of my favorite pasta dishes because of it's simplicity--cheese, pasta, fat, and water is all it takes to create an amazing dish. Cacio e pepe literally means “cheese and pepper”. It is traditionally made with tonnarelli noodles, but our version uses the larger bigoli. We feel like our larger, coarser noodles help emulsify the sauce, allowing it to coat them creating an extremely decedent and velvety sauce with an incredible chew and mouth feel.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
1 pound: The Daley Trade Fresh Bigoli pasta
1.5 tablespoons: Freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons: Unsalted butter (cold), cubed
4 tablespoons: Olive oil
1 tablespoon: Good extra virgin olive oil for finishing
2 cups freshly grated Cacio di Roma; a younger, semi-soft sheep’s cheese made outside Rome, plus more for garnish
2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 cups + more (just in case) Reserved Pasta water
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the bigoli and cook until just al dente, 2.5 min. drain, reserving 2+ cup of pasta water. IMPORTANT! Barley salt your water if at all. you will be using it for the sauce and can easily overseason your dish if not careful.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, toast the ground pepper over medium heat until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add 4 Tablespoons of the olive oil, and cook, 1 to 2 minutes to infuse the pepper with the oil.
3. Add the drained pasta, 1 cup of the reserved pasta water, the grated Cacio di Roma and Pecorino Romano. Toss to coat the pasta well and season with salt. Add the remaining cup of reserved pasta water and 2 tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil and toss vigorously to emulsify and incorporate the sauce with the noodles. Add more pasta water if your sauce is too thick. Plate and garnish with ground pepper and Cacio di Roma cheese. Then serve.