Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper) is an Italian dish consisting of 4 ingredients that make it thick and creamy. The key is to perfectly cook the pasta and retain that liquid once done for the sauce. The starch from the pasta water is critical to making this pan sauce so make sure not to skimp on this step. If you do, you most likely will not get the proper consistency once it’s finished.
1 lb. box tonnarelli or bucatini pasta
5 Tbsp. vegan butter, cubed
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup vegan parmesan cheese
1 cup reserved pasta water
- In a large pot, bring 3.5 quarts water to a boil and season well with salt (should be salty to taste). Cook the pasta until al dente, roughly 10 minutes. Reserve pasta water before draining.
- In a skillet on medium heat, melt the butter and add the pepper, stirring around until toasted, about 45 seconds. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cheese until melted and pour in the drained pasta, tossing to coat.
- Serve immedietly.
Chef’s tip: If the sauce seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water to thin it out.