Cacio e pepe literally translates to “cheese and pepper,” and while those are the prominent flavors here, this dish is SO much more. It’s transformative. And what makes it so perfect? Its simplicity.
- 1/2 lb. pasta
- 2 tbsp. butter, divided
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 3/4 c. freshly grated Pecorino, plus more for garnish
- 3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
- In a pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve ⅔ cup pasta water and drain pasta.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil. Add a generous amount of black pepper and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add ⅓ cup reserved pasta water and bring to simmer. Whisk in butter then, using tongs, toss pasta into butter mixture.
- Add cheeses and toss constantly until cheese is melty, removing skillet from heat when about half the cheese has melted. (If sauce is too thick, loosen with more pasta water.)
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