August 9, 2011

Cacio e Pepe

Last year I was lucky enough to go to Rome.
I still dream about the beauty there.  I dream about the gelato mostly.  Totally Amazing!
Most of the places we ate at tasted like Chef lie.  It was kind of a disappointment.
Then we talked to real Italians who know Rome and they gave the advice that you have to go off the beaten path to get the good places.  So they told us where to go...and we went there.
Now that meal is what I dream about.  
It lasted about 3 hours long because that's how they roll...but it was the best 3 hours of my life.
I had this dish called Cacio e Pepe, then the best chicken of my life.  Drool worthy.  
Cacio e Pepe is basically made up of a few ingredients: pasta, pasta water, Pecorino Romano cheese, pepper.  That's it!
Now...I don't think I can ever make the chicken...but I can make the 
Cacio e Pepe...and I can make it well:) is some Italian food to be proud of!
 I made a Parmesan Bowl to serve with the pasta...not necessary...but totally worth it!!

 For the bowl...sprinkle some Fresh Parmesan cheese on a will look like it does above.
 When it gets nice and toasty, you know it is done...this one may be too toasty..

Put a spatula around the edges to loosen it a bit and then start to peel it off the pan. 

Then you put it on top of a small bowl to let it cool and harden. 

It will look all pretty and lacy.  It will for sure impress people:) 

Then you make the Cacio e Pepe...and plop it perfectly into your bowl.  Best. Meal. Ever!!
I found several recipes all over blog land, but I liked this one best.

Cacio e Pepe

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound dried spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
1 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
Salt (optional)

Cook spaghetti in well-salted water to your al dente tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. (You’ll have fewer dishes to wash if you use this pot to assemble the dish as well.) Drain spaghetti, reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water.

Dry out your pot, then heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add drained spaghetti and 1 cup of reserved pasta water.

Add butter, 3 ounces cheese and ground pepper and toss together with tongs. Taste, adding more pasta water, cheese, pepper or salt (which should not be neccessary, as Romano is very salty) to taste.
Serve immediately, sprinkling with reserved cheese and an extra grind or two of black pepper.


  1. can that parmesean bowl be made with other cheeses? that looks so yummy!

  2. What was the name of the restaurant? Going to Rome next year and would love to have that meal you had! :)
    In the meantime, definitely making this!