Cacio e Pepe is a rich Italian sauce composed of butter, two kinds of cheese, and two kinds of pepper for a subtle, floral bite. It is a decadent dish but surprisingly simple to make, coming together in just 30 minutes. Chef Joe Bonavita uses strozzapreti, which is similar to cavatelli, but you can also use long noodles like bucatini or even spaghetti, with equally good results.
Enjoy a rich yet simple to make pasta dish from Chef Joe Bonavita.
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a 8-quart Stainless Clad Stock Pot fitted with the Pasta Insert. Season generously with salt, until the liquid tastes like the sea. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just before al dente. Drain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking liquid.
While the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a 3 QT Saucier over medium heat. Add the black pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
Add ½ cup pasta cooking liquid to Saucier and bring to a simmer. Toss in the cooked pasta and remaining tablespoon of butter. Reduce heat to very low and add Grana Padano, stirring until thoroughly melted.
Remove pan from heat and add the Pecorino, stirring until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. If the sauce seems dry, add more pasta cooking liquid.
Garnish with chopped chives and espelette pepper.