Anyone can make Cacio e Pepe. All you need is pasta, butter, and black pepper. It is a totally satisfying and delicious week-night dish. You can dress it up a bit by topping it with crumbled sausage. I like Jimmy Dean for this, but any kind of Italian sausage would be just as delicious.
- 1/2 lb Jimmy Dean regular sausage or bulk Italian sausage
- 3-4 oz dry bucatini pasta (approximately two handfuls)
- kosher salt for the pasta water
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper or more to taste
- 1/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
- 2 tbsp finely grated Pecorino
- 3-4 sprigs fresh parsley sprigs chopped
Gather all ingredients before starting the recipe.
- Add 1/2 lb Jimmy Dean regular sausage or bulk Italian sausage to a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Break up the sausage into crumbles and stir occasionally, or until the sausage resembles golden brown crumbles, about 10-15 minutes.
- While the sausage is cooking, bring water to a boil in a large sauce pan. Season well with kosher salt.
- Add 2 handfuls (or 3-4 ounces) of bucatini to boiling water, reduce heat and cook until al dente, about 5-6 minutes or according to package instructions.
- Add 1 tbsp unsalted butter to a medium skillet and melt over medium heat. Add 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper or more to taste, sauté for 1-2 minutes and then add al dente bucatini to skillet. Toss to combine with melted butter and black pepper.
- Sprinkle pasta with 1/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan, then add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water and stir to make a sauce. If the pasta seems a little dry, add pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have reached a creamy consistency.
- Swirl a portion of pasta on to a serving plate. Top with crumbled sausage and chopped parsley.