Cacio e Pepe

My office was generously closed from Xmas Eve until January 6; however, because of Grand Jury Duty, I was unable to take a last minute trip like we were hoping. Still, my court duties ended around 1 PM every day and since I didn’t have to go into the office, I spent the afternoons taking myself to lunch and enjoying the city. One day, I strolled a favorite spot: Eataly and got myself a gorgeous piece of wagyu beef and some fresh pasta because I can’t walk in that place without taking some fresh pasta with me when I leave.

Bucatini is a great, underrated pasta shape that’s best when fresh and less than easy to find. While it may look like spaghetti, it’s a bit more toothsome – that’s what makes it so special. And the best way for it to shine? In an extraordinarily simple preparation. Enter: cacio e pepe.

Cacio e pepe is a pasta sauce that is made with essentially those two ingredients, cheese and pepper. The only other thing you’ll need is butter.

I followed Bon App’s recipe pretty much exactly, though I used only Grana Padano when it came to cheese variety. Not only is it easy, it comes together so quickly. You just need to be a bit watchful. Basically, you boil pasta while also melting butter with fresh cracked pepper. When the pasta is done, you’ll add some of the starchy pasta water and then the pasta itself. Then the cheese. Toss toss toss. That’s it. Honestly, just follow this recipe and you’ll be good.

It helps that I used high quality pasta, but I generally think this may have been the best pasta I’ve ever made. Maybe? Perfect in its simplicity. Served with another perfectly simple piece of wagyu beef. I ate it on the couch with some truly great television and I was fully living my best life.