Tuesday, July 28, 2020

I starting seeing this dish on many restaurant menus back in the pre-pandemic times. I took a chance and ordered it and loved it! Cacio e Pepe simply means cheese and pepper. You know how sometimes the simplest of foods can be the best? This is a prime example. I remembered this dish recently and went in search of a recipe. I do believe that mine came out “restaurant quality”. My son Mason says that this is the question I most often ask at dinner. He always compliments my food and I ask if he thinks it’s “restaurant quality”? Ha! What is restaurant quality these days? I simply don’t remember!

I think you could easily throw some shrimp or chicken in this. You could serve some sauteed or roasted vegetables along side it or a simple green salad.

The ingredients: As with many things in life quality matters. Use real butter and use real parmesan. I bought a small block of parmesan at Trader Joe’s. Especially when making a simple meal like this, quality of ingredients can make a difference.

You need:

6 oz. pasta of your choice (Normally it will be spaghetti or bucatini (spaghetti that is hollow!) In the photo above, I used regular spaghetti that I accidentally got in my grocery order. I am using angel hair now because that is what my family prefers. Something fun for your kids might be to explore all the different shapes of pastas available (online) and to try some new shapes?

3 T. butter

3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water right before you drain it (I was shocked to learn how often chefs use this!)



about a cup of parmesan freshly shredded – do not buy the bag of already shredded – did you know that have cardboard/cellulose to keep it from sticking?

Cook your pasta like you normally do.

Right before you drain it, use your ladle to get out about 3/4 cup of the pasta water.

Melt 2 of the 3 T. butter in a large skillet.

Add pepper.

When butter is melted, add your pasta water.

Now, add pasta.

Use tongs to incorporate everything.

Add a bit of salt.

Add cheese and stir a bit.

Serve immediately.

When I ordered it at the restaurant It was between $10-12. You can make this at home for way less and it will definitely be “restaurant quality”!

Have you ever had this?

What restaurant meals are easy to re-create?

Buon appetito!


9 thoughts on “Easy Weeknight Dinner:Cacio E Pepe

  1. My family (and I!) love spagetti, and could eat it every single day (literally). I consider myself quite good at making at decent pasta dish, and therefore I stop my kids from ordering pasta at restaurants – I can make it better at home! But I am a bit cheap, and I hear you – you should use good quality products. But parmesan is so expensive!
    I think all Mexican food is easy to recreate, we never eat it at restaurants or from take away…
    (I had to look up “ladle”, my vocabulary is lacking!)


    1. We are not a huge pasta family. I never used to order pasta in a restaurant for the same reason – so easy to make at home! I love Mexican food and I’m pretty good but sometimes I like the “real” thing! I hope you can use ladle as a verb. It’s definitely a noun! Language teacher nerds unite!


  2. My mouth is watering! This looks so good! I always order something similar at Spaghetti Factory when my boss takes the whole office to lunch. Can’t wait to try this.


    1. Thank you, Theresa! I love Spaghetti Factory and that used to be the standard of fine dining when I would come to the big city from my southern Indiana hometown. Hope you try it and like it! Go easy on the pasta water. I may have said too much. Start with 1/4 cup and then add if needed.


  3. Restaurant quality is the gold standard at our house too! I’ve seen cacio e pepe on blogs but never tried making it. It looks pretty easy and I think the hubs would love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Glad I’m not the only one that says that! Go easy on the pasta water and add as needed. I needed way less with angel hair! Let me know if you try it!


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