The sauce for this pasta dish is just cheese and pepper (aka cacio e pepe in Italian). Try this with kids as a simple yet sophisticated alternative to standard mac and cheese. Lots of black pepper adds a touch of heat, priming picky palates for spicier food.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, May 2020


Recipe Summary

30 mins
30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and peas and cook until the pasta is just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking water and drain the pasta and peas.

  • Combine pecorino and Parmesan in a small bowl.

  • Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and salt and cook for 1 minute. Carefully pour in 3/4 cup of the cooking water and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta and peas; remove from heat.

  • Slowly stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture. Toss, adding more of the cooking water as needed, until well coated, about 2 minutes. Serve with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and more pepper, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 1/2 cups
454 calories; protein 16.6g; carbohydrates 52.1g; dietary fiber 5.3g; sugars 4.4g; fat 18.6g; saturated fat 7.3g; cholesterol 60.8mg; vitamin a iu 1654.7IU; vitamin c 12.1mg; folate 36mcg; calcium 196.3mg; iron 3.9mg; magnesium 19.3mg; potassium 113.2mg; sodium 421.1mg.