Despite its simple ingredients, cacio e pepe proves that recipes do not have to be overly complicated to yield a dish with exceptional flavor.
Although seemingly straightforward, cacio e pepe–which means “cheese and pepper,” continues to confound home cooks with its delicate, creamy sauce despite being so simple.
Many authentic recipes incorporate pecorino romano, pasta water, butter and freshly grated pepper into an emulsified pepper sauce. But without a proper method, the cheese and the sauce can clump together.
That’s why Luciano Monosilio, Italian Michelin-starred chef and owner of Luciano Cucina Italiana, shares his secret for the creamiest, tastiest cacio e pepe you’ll ever taste. In turn, you’ll master the OG of mac ‘n’ cheeses, guaranteed to never look back!
Chef Monosilio’s Secret
Monosilio admits that his method is not a traditional one, but it still creates a very authentic flavor.
Rather than heating pasta water and pecorino on a skillet until the cheese melts and the sauce becomes thick and creamy, Monosilio leverages a powerful blender to achieve the same results.
In contrast to the traditional method, Monosilio’s foolproof trick delivers unparalleled results every time without any lumps.
Interested in trying this method out by cooking up your own cacio e pepe? Well, you’re in luck, because we’ve listed the recipe below.
- 2 cups pasta
- 1 cup hot pasta water
- 10 grams whole peppercorns
- 2.5 ounces pecorino romano, freshly grated
- 5.25 ounces parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated
- 10 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- Additional grated pecorino and or ground pepper, for garnish
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.
- While the pasta is boiling, prepare the sauce. In a high-speed blender, add hot pasta water, peppercorns, pecorino and parmesan.
- While the mixture is blending, slowly add the olive oil to emulsify the sauce. Blend until the sauce has a creamy and smooth consistency without lumps.
- Once the pasta is al dente, remove it from heat but do not drain. Transfer the pasta using a pair of tongs to a large saute pan over low heat.
- Pour the cheese sauce of the cooked pasta and gently coat using the tongs. Remove from heat when the sauce is smooth, not stringy, and thoroughly blended.
- Serve the cacio e pepe in bowls, and garnish with additional grated pecorino and ground pepper. Enjoy!