Bucatini Cacio e Pepe is a creamy combination of two kinds of cheeses fresh black pepper and crispy Proscuitto. It’s simple to make in less than 30 minutes.
This Cacio e Pepe dish combines olive oil infused with garlic and black pepper, two kinds of cheese, and crispy Prosciutto over a bed of al dente Bucatini pasta. It’s a simple meal that tastes gourmet.
John and I got together with some of our friends at one of our favorite restaurants. We know each other enough to share forks of our delicious entrees across the table.
There was one dish that we all wanted to try so we just ordered it for the table like an appetizer. That dish was Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe.
I was totally unprepared of how amazing it would taste. We all thought that and I couldn’t wait to try and make it at home.
What is Cacio e Pepe?
“Cacio e Pepe” means “cheese and pepper”. As the name suggests, the ingredients of the dish are very simple and include only black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese.
I decided to dress up the traditional Cacio e Pepe recipe by using bucatini pasta.
Bucatini pasta is like a spaghetti noodle with a hole running through it.
It’s thicker than spaghetti and has an al dente texture that guarantees you will not leave the table hungry or rush through this meal.
Also, we used a blend of tangy Pecorino Romano with milder Parmesan Reggiano that dressed this Cacio e Pepe Pasta recipe to a gourmet level.
What is the difference between Pecorino Romano, Parmesan Reggiano, and Parmesan cheese?
Both Pecorino and Parmesan Reggiano are hard Italian cheeses.
Pecorino is made from sheep’s milk and Parmesan Reggiano is made from cows milk. Just like Champagne has to come from Champagne France, Pecorino Romano and Parmesan Reggiano must come from Italy.
Grated Parmesan that you find in U.S. grocery stores doesn’t even have to be 100% cheese! Shocked? I was too.
Parmesan Reggiano is more expensive and worth every dime. I found a great article describing the differences between these cheeses and how to make sure you’re buying the real deal in this Epicurious article.
I find Parmesan Reggiano has a milder flavor and it’s my go-to cheese 99% of the time when I need parmesan. There isn’t any substitution for the taste of fresh cheese and it really doesn’t add that much time to preparing your meals.
What ingredients do I need to make Casio e Pepe with Prosciutto?
- bucatini pasta
- Pecorino Romano cheese
- Parmesan Reggiano cheese
- black pepper
- fresh parsley
There’s a detailed video in the recipe card.
How to make Bucatini Casio e Pepe with Prosciutto
- Prep the recipe by grating cheeses, chopping parsley and slicing prosciutto.
- Heat pasta water and salt it once boiling. Add pasta and cook as recommended.
- Heat EVOO in a saucepan and when hot add strips of prosciutto. Once crisp place on a paper-lined plate.
- Add the garlic and black pepper to the hot saucepan and cook until the garlic is lightly toasted. Remove from the heat.
- Put cooked pasta in a large bowl. Pour hot EVOO, garlic and black pepper over the pasta and combine.
- Add cheeses and parsley and combine.
- Garnish with additional cheese, black pepper, parsley, and prosciutto.
Tips for making the perfect Bucatini Casio e Pepe recipe
- Cook the pasta perfectly.
- Never add oil to the pasta water.
- Use an oval dutch oven or a roasting pan to cook long pasta noodles.
- Never overcook pasta. If you’re adding it to other hot ingredients such as spaghetti sauce cook it one minute less than recommended.
- Remove it from the cooking water to discontinue cooking.
- Do not rinse your pasta. It helps cheeses and sauces stick to the noodles.
- Don’t forget to save a cup of pasta water for thinning pasta dishes.
- It’s all about the cheese!
- Try and buy all of your cheeses in a wedge or block. Pre-shredded and grated cheese often have anti-clumping ingredients included and they start to dry out as soon as they’re opened.
- Grate the cheeses finely. It will aid in the cheese sticking to the pasta and there will be less chance of the cheese clumping.
- Prep your ingredients before starting this recipe. It comes together very quickly.
- Grate the cheeses
- Mince the garlic
- Chop the parsley
- Heat your serving dishes prior to plating the food will keep your food hot longer. You can do this by wetting the dish and putting it in the microwave for 30 seconds or in a very low oven.
What I serve with my pasta dinners
- Italian Bread Recipe
- Apple Pear Salad
- Tomato Mozzarella Salad
- Italiano Cocktail
- The perfect wine to pair with this Casio e Pepe pasta dinner:
- Cabernet Sauvignon – American red
- Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris – American whites
- Chianti Classico, Sangiovese, Brunello, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – Italian reds
- Prosecco, Chardonnay, Rosé – Italian whites, Rosé
If you enjoy this Cacio e Pepe Bucatini recipe, check these pasta recipes out.
- Fettuccine with Sausage
- Italian Goulash
- Baked Spaghetti with Meatballs
- Creamy Lemon Pasta
- Spaghetti Pie Recipe
Here you can find all of our Pasta Recipes!
Products we used with Bucatini Cacio Pepe
- Spring Chef Stainless Steel Box Grater – I prefer to grate my own cheese. It tastes fresh and moist and I know that it’s not coated with anti-clumping ingredients!
- Spaghetti Server – This utensil is perfect for removing your spaghetti or bucatini from the pasta water. It’s good quality and nice enough to use to serve your guests.
- Tongs – We have several of these tongs. They are perfect for grilling, mixing and combining about anything.
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Bucatini Cacio e Pepe with Prosciutto
- 1 lb bucatini pasta
- 1 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese grated
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 slices prosciutto sliced along the short edge
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1-1/2 tsp black pepper coarsely ground
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
Garnish with additional cheese, parsley, and black pepper
- While pasta water is heating up grate cheeses, chop parsley, and mince garlic.
- In a small saucepan add olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot add sliced prosciutto. Cook until crisp (just a couple minutes). Watch it closely. When cooked remove from the pan using a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add garlic and black pepper to the oil in the hot saucepan and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- When pasta is cooked, put it in a large bowl. Do not rinse the pasta. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Pour oil with the garlic and black pepper over the cooked pasta. Combine using tongs or a pasta spoon until covered. Add grated cheeses and fresh parsley. Pour pasta water a little at a time until the cheeses are smooth and create a thick sauce. (You may only need a small amount of water)
- Garnish with crispy prosciutto, additional grated cheese, parsley, and black pepper.
Bucatini Cacio e Pepe with Prosciutto is a simple and delicious dish that’s easy enough to make on a work or school night. It’s a quick recipe that tastes gourmet.
What is your favorite pasta dish? Please share. I love getting inspiration from your comments.