Cacio e pepe is Italian for cheese and pepper—which is essentially the recipe. This classic Roman dish is a deliciously minimalist combination of pasta (typically spaghetti), fresh-cracked black pepper, tangy Pecorino Romano cheese and—probably the most integral ingredient—hot pasta water, which transforms the cheese and pepper into a sublimely simple and delicious sauce. Here, five ways to make your new favorite pasta recipe, cacio e pepe, including both classic and unconventional variations.
1. Pasta Cacio e Pepe (above)
This rustic recipe calls for just five ingredients and comes together in no time. A little bit of butter gives the sauce an extra-silky boost.
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2. Cacio e Pepe Pasta Pie
F&W's Justin Chapple uses three types of cheese in this indulgent and delicious baked spaghetti pie.