Cacio e pepe — a simple Italian pasta dish made with butter, black pepper, and a salty, nutty cheese like Pecorino or Parmesan — is comfort food at its finest. As if by magic, the few humble ingredients transform into something truly spectacular.
From traditional cacio e pepe to more unique takes on the dish, here are 10 recipes that showcase this beloved Italian staple.
We took the concept of cacio e pepe and turned it on its head with these savory cookies. Serve them at your next cocktail party and watch them fly off the platter.
This is our standard recipe for cacio e pepe, but don't let the simple ingredient list fool you — it's a show-stopping meal that'll impress friends and loved ones.
If you're not into the whole pasta thing, these cacio e pepe potatoes are a worthy alternative. Be generous with the Pecorino on top before serving — you won't regret it.
This Broccolini with lemony pearl barley is finished with plenty of Pecorino and black pepper. It's far from a traditional cacio e pepe, but it captures the essence of the dish.
The zoodle craze is a tiny miracle for gluten-free folks. Now cacio e pepe is still possible, thanks to long strands of zucchini that stand in for regular spaghetti.
Even vegans can get in on the cacio e pepe trend! Olive oil takes the place of butter, while cashew cheese — a mixture of raw cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder — replaces the Pecorino.
This clever take on cacio e pepe involves instant ramen noodles (yes, like the ones from college). Ditch the accompanying seasoning packet — we only need the noodles for this one-pot meal.
No pasta dish is safe from the one-pan pasta phenomenon — not even cacio e pepe. With only five ingredients, one pan to clean, and less than 15 minutes, this is the easiest way to get cacio e pepe on the table for dinner tonight.
This spicy version of cacio e pepe has a numbing effect, thanks to the addition of Sichuan pepper. It's perfect for anyone looking to turn up the heat a little on an old Italian standby.
Perhaps the most ingenious take on cacio e pepe, this spaghetti pie would be perfect for brunch. Made with eggs, milk, and three types of cheese, it's just what you need after a night out on the town.
(Image credits: Kimberley Hasselbrink; Jenny Huang; Bon Appétit; Arthur Street Kitchen; The Iron You; Kitchen Treaty; Hapa Nom; Baker By Nature; The Woks of Life; David Lebovitz)