Cacio e Pepe

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Literally “cheese and pepper” in Italian, this most simple of pasta dishes combines a bit of good cheese, a few grinds of peppercorns, melted butter and fruity olive oil. Like a perfect romantic dance – with a bit of music, low light, and with a beautiful partner – this sublime and amazing mix, as if by magic, makes everything right in the world. Believe us, this pasta has that ability. As long as you choose high-quality ingredients, you are well on your way to a wonderful night.

Serves: 4
Difficulty: easy
Cook time: 20 min


12 oz pasta (square-cut spaghetti, bucatini or similar) *
pinch of kosher salt
3 T unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 T high-quality extra virgin olive oil
1 generous t freshly ground black pepper
¾ c finely grated Parmigiana-Reggiano
⅓ c finely grated pecorino


In a large skillet, fill bottom with 1” of water. Bring to a boil and add salt. Lay pasta flat in the water and stir occasionally until al dente. Reduce water until there is a thin layer left on bottom of skillet, but do not scorch or allow it to run dry (add a touch more water if necessary). Meanwhile, in a separate pan, melt butter and olive oil, adding pepper; cook until aromatic, approx. 20 sec. Add butter/pepper mix to pasta, turn off heat. Add cheeses and stir vigorously until cheese is melted and pasta is coated with the sauce (add a few tablespoons of hot water if sauce appears a dry). Serve immediately with more pepper and a sprinkle of cheese. Enjoy with a wonderful wine and bread.

* To make this recipe gluten-free friendly, use gluten-free pasta.