Cacio e Pepe with Black Pepper Pasta

One of the simplest dishes to make and one of those dishes that always brings me back to my time in Italy.

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When I was in Rome, I was a broke college kid who didn’t know much about cooking and I was saving most of my money for travel. My meals were usually made up of the cheapest ingredients I could find so I cooked A LOT of pasta. I was in Italy, so it just made sense! 

I had never heard of cacio e pepe before I got to Rome. I knew a little Italian so when I saw it on a menu, I couldn’t believe there was a pasta dish with just cheese and pepper. It seemed way too simple to be good.

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Boy was I wrong! Of course it’s a simpler dish but it is so classic and delicious, it’s impossible not to love it.

Now that I have a pasta roller and have learned the joys of cooking, I thought I would make my own version of cacio e pepe featuring a black pepper pasta dough. GAH it is so so soooooo good. The black pepper runs throughout each gorgeous strand of spaghetti so every bite has that perfect amount of pepper.

Top it with a little cheese and presto! Finito!

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Simple perfection.

Cacio e Pepe with Black Pepper Pasta

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

A classic Italian dish made with fresh black pepper pasta.

Ingredients:

Pasta Dough

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly cracked black pepper

Toppings

  • 1/2 cup pecorino
  • 3/4 cup parmesan
  • 3 Tbsp butter

Directions:

  1. Pour flour on your clean, flat work surface and make a large, wide well. Add eggs, water, salt, and pepper to the well and beat together with a fork being careful not to break the edges of the well. Slowly incorporate flour as you mix, until the mixture begins to come together and is less of a liquid, more of a loose dough. Set aside the fork and bring together the rest of the dough with your hands. It will take a little time, but work and knead the dough until all the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and supple. If your dough isn’t coming together, trying adding a 1/2 Tbsp of additional water. Wrap your ball of dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Once the dough has rested, use a pasta machine or a rolling pin to roll the pasta out into wide sheets. After it has been rolled into thin, wide sheets, put your dough through a spaghetti cutter or cut the sheets yourself into thin spaghetti. Refrigerate the spaghetti until ready to cook.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a good amount of salt. Boil spaghetti in batches for about 5-7 minutes (the pasta will cook fast!). Drain the spaghetti and add to a large bowl. Stir in the butter, pecorino, and parmesan until the butter has melted. Serve immediately.
Yum

4 Responses to “Cacio e Pepe with Black Pepper Pasta”

  1. Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers — May 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm (#)

    This looks delicious. This is right up my alley. I’ll be trying this next. I am such a fan of simple pastas with lots of flavour!

    • Cake 'n' Knife — May 28, 2014 at 6:18 pm (#)

      Thank you! Let me know what you think when you try it! I just love the peppery finish after every bite 🙂

  2. A.S. — June 12, 2014 at 11:14 am (#)

    Hi! About 4 of my friends and I are planning a trip to Italy next year. Since you have lived there do you have any pointers on places we should definitely visit and where we should stay?

    • Cake 'n' Knife — June 12, 2014 at 6:19 pm (#)

      Lucky you!! It’s so hard to pick my favorites but my top three cities would be Siena, Rome, and Sorrento. For me they represent three amazing sides of Italy – Tuscany, Ancient Rome, and the Amalfi coast – all must-sees in my book! Feel free to email me at meghan@cakenknife.com if you have more questions. Happy to help! 🙂

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