5 Ingredients or Fewer

Cacio e Pepe

March 20, 2015
6 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

This is the easiest dinner you could possibly make. Add some crushed red pepper for a little kick and please, please, please freshly grind your pepper! —Jenny Goycochea

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is the embodiment of five-ingredient perfection! Farm-fresh eggs, fresh pasta, and good Parmesan turned the dish into a gourmet delight. The sauce comes together so easily and yet is so unctuous, creamy, and sophisticated. Really a wonderful example of simple ingredients creating a memorable dish. And so simple to throw together. I haven't tried it with dried pasta, but I suspect that that would be delicious, as well. —lmikkel

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
  • Salt, to taste
  • 12 ounces pasta (spaghetti or bucatini)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago, as needed
  • 1 egg yolk
In This Recipe
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add some salt to the water (not too much, as you will use this water for your sauce). Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain.
  2. In the same pot the pasta was boiled in, add 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Melt your butter into this and add the pepper. Return the cooked pasta to the pot and toss to coat.
  3. Add the cheese and egg yolk and, using tongs, toss the ingredients together until combined. If the pasta seems a little sticky, add the remaining pasta water. If it's a little wet, add more cheese. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

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