Cacio e Pepe

This recipe is seriously spaghetti, cheese, butter, and pepper. And I like to add garlic, tomatoes, and basil. How can you possibly go wrong? It’s so easy and so delicious. Perfect for a simple pasta meal that tastes like you put a lot of effort into it.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound (225g) spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup; 55g), very finely grated
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and about a teaspoon of black pepper in a medium skillet over medium-low heat until ingredients are fragrant and pepper is barely starting to sizzle, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  2. Place spaghetti in a large skillet and cover with water. Season with a small pinch of salt, then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until spaghetti is al dente (typically about 1 minute less than the package recommends). Transfer 2 to 3 tablespoons of pasta cooking water to the skillet with the olive oil/pepper mixture. Stir in butter and garlic. Using tongs, lift spaghetti and transfer it to the oil/butter mixture.
  3. Add cheese and remaining tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and stir with a fork until cheese is completely melted. Add a few more tablespoons of pasta water to the skillet to adjust consistency, reheating as necessary until the sauce is creamy and coats each strand of spaghetti. Add in tomatoes and fresh basil. Season to taste with salt and more black pepper. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Serious Eats.

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