Cacio e Pepe

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok in the past year, you have probably seen the viral feta and tomato pasta recipe so much you have it memorized. We all made it, and we all loved it. What’s not to love? It’s simple, made in one pan, adds variety to your meals, and most importantly, delicious! Today we will show you how to make another trending pasta recipe that is taking the internet by storm, Cacio e Pepe (translates literally to cheese and pepper). A simple pasta dish that comes together when hot pasta water, grated pecorino cheese and freshly toasted black peppercorns all marry with a pasta of your choice.

The final product is a rustic, creamy, decadent pasta perfectly balanced with a peppery punch. So, if you’re like me and always welcome a nice kick to your Italian dishes, keep reading. This recipe boasts only four ingredients, and it’s a fantastic way to make creamy pasta without milk or heavy cream. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

DISCLAIMER: I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the following recipe, so don’t come for us in the comments! You may rest easy knowing that we won’t be breaking any spaghetti noodles today :).

½ tsp whole black peppercorns

6 oz. pasta of your choice (we recommend spaghetti)

½ cup reserved pasta water

1 cup pecorino, romano or parmesan (Or a blend of all three)

2 tbsp Italian seasoning

¼ cup olive oil

1lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breast

If you have large chicken breasts, cut them in half lengthwise. Cover with plastic wrap and pound them until about an inch thick

Place chicken in a plastic bag and pour a ¼ cup of olive oil and two tablespoons of Italian seasoning

Mix around until chicken is covered in seasoning and let marinate for 30 minutes or an hour

Start on your pasta a few minutes before the chicken finishes marinating. Cook to the box’s instructions

While waiting for your water to reach a boil, heat a pan on medium-high and place chicken breasts in with a drizzle of olive oil. Let one side cook for 6 minutes

While the chicken is cooking on one side, start toasting your peppercorns on medium heat

Once peppercorns are fragrant, empty the pan into a pestle and mortar and grind the peppercorns until fine

Once the six minutes are up on one side of your chicken, flip and cook the other side for an additional 5 minutes. You want your chicken to be at least 165° internal before removing it from the pan

Add the peppercorns back to the pan and retrieve ½ cup of pasta water from the cooking pasta. Allow this water to cool a bit so you don’t end up with a clumpy mess in the next step. You can place it in the fridge for a few minutes

Add pasta water and one cup of grated pecorino (or parmesan) to the pan with the peppercorns

Mix until combined

Take off your chicken and let rest for 5 minutes

Add more pasta water if needed to the sauce; you want a consistency just thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon

Add in your cooked and drained pasta

Plate your pasta immediately and top with the sliced or cubed chicken, more pecorino, basil leaves, or red pepper flakes

Lastly, enjoy!