Cacio e Pepe. Oh do I have a story about Cacio e Pepe…
And it is a good one too, so buckle up.
I have been known to be a “yes girl”. If you don’t know what that means, basically anything that gets presented to me, I say yes to. Example: Hey Brooke, wanna cater a wedding? Me: Yea. Another Example: Hey Brooke want to make a wedding cake the size of a small hut? Me: duh! Another Example: Hey Brooke wanna go to Thailand 6 days notice? Me: ob-vi-ously. So chances are if you ask me to do something, I will most likely do it and be cursing up storm during whatever situation I have just said yes to.
How does this relate to Cacio e Pepe?
Long story short, when I was working on a property a few of us decided it would be a great idea to host a private chef event. I mean, why the heck not? I know how to cook. Right?! Nothing short of my usual, I wanted to do something fancy AF. Because, you know, private cheffing.
Behold Cacio e Pepe!
Now to you this may look like a big bowl of noodles. And essentially, it is. I’m not reinventing the wheel. But to avoid ending up with a big blob of cheese there are certain steps you must follow. And I did not. In front of like 10 people. 10 people that paid to be there. Luckily for me they were kind, but from that moment I learned two valuable lessons. I will never; one: drink wine at an event that I’m working and two: wing shit that shouldn’t be winged. And a few of my guests even said it was the most delicious blob of cheese they have ever eaten. So you win some, you lose some.
Now Cacio e Pepe is like sophisticated mac and cheese. No fluffy ingredients here, just toasted pepper, butter, and in this case I used Parmigiano Reggiano. Yes, I did say toasted pepper. The result?
The most Delicious Sunday Night Dinner.
So much flavor is gained when using a wedge of the real deal instead of buying the pre-grated cheese. And because I can’t go a meal without some greens, I added broccoli raab that was blanched and sauteed in butter and garlic.
Cacio e Pepe with Broccoli Raab
- 12 oz Bucatini or Spaghetti
- 3/4 cup reserved Pasta water
- 1 1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 tsp Whole Pepercorns, Crushed
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Garlic, minced
- 1 bundle Broccoli Raab, stems removed, Blanched
Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil
Add pasta choice and stir ever couple minutes
Cook until almost done, but still has a little crunch to it
Reserve 3/4- 1 cup of pasta water to the side
In a large pan heat 2 tbsp of butter, garlic, and crushed pepper and swirl
Cook over medium heat for about a minute until it is fragrant
Add water bring to a simmer
Add pasta, butter, and broccoli raab
Reduce heat to low and add cheese
Stir and toss with tongs until melted
Once pasta is coated with cheese and pepper serve