Honestly, I’m not sure why it took so long, but Cacio e Pepe is having a MAJOR moment right now. Originally a Roman cuisine, cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper, and it’s just that simple: made with black pepper, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and spaghetti. Basically like mac and cheese for grown-ups.
I’ve been a fan for years, especially since it’s so easy to make at home – but lately I’ve noticed SO many local restaurants offering their take on cacio e pepe, from veggies like brussels sprouts and asparagus to pizza – cacio e pepe is everywhere I look.
If you’ve never had it before, I’d like to offer you some suggestions.
- Try the pasta before you try anything else. If you don’t feel comfortable making it at home, order it from Taverna Novo. It’s the best I’ve had outside of Rome! Just make sure to ask for recommendations on reheating.
- If you don’t really like pepper, don’t bother with it because the whole point is that it’s peppery. And I don’t mean pepper-heavy like when you let your serve crack fresh pepper on your plate for 30 seconds. I mean (in some cases) mouth on fire pepper! I digress… if you’re on the fence about pepper, just stay away.
- Once you’ve tried the pasta, then give everything else a shot. Unfortunately, nothing else will compare, but they’ll try!
Are you a cacio e pepe lover like myself? Where have you had the best version? Let me know!
Thank you for the rec! I have never had it in Italy, but I had a wonderful version in NYC and have been craving it for months, hoping to find a good local version. I tried from a restaurant in Albany that will remain unnamed and it was NOT cacio e pepe, no matter what it said on the menu. I’ll have to trek up to Saratoga for some takeout soon.
So glad this is helpful to you! I’ve had it quite a few times since I went to Italy and Taverna Novo is definitely the closest! It’s delicious. Obviously best if you can eat it at the restaurant, but you could always eat hot out of the container in the car! 🙂 Enjoy