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.
2. Cacio e Pepe
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.
10. Spaghetti Pie
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.