Spaghetti with Cacio e Pepe Butter


Cacio e pepe is a Roman pasta dish prized for its simplicity. Our Mad Genius culinary director, Justin Chapple, puts a spin on the original with a black pepper and Pecorino Romano compound butter. Just boil the pasta, grate the chilled butter over the top, and dinner is done. 

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
4 to 6


  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese    

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped

  • 1 pound dried spaghetti


  1. Mash softened butter with cheese, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Roll butter in parchment; freeze until firm.

  2. Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander to drain. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water; drain pasta.

  3. In a serving bowl, toss pasta with broccoli rabe. Using a box or hand grater, grate some compound butter over pasta and toss vigorously to coat. Season with salt and toss again. Serve immediately.

    Spaghetti with Cacio e Pepe Butter
    Eric Wolfinger
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