Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian pasta sauce made from grated pecorino romano cheese, grated parmigiano reggiano cheese and loads of black pepper! This version adds roasted cauliflower for a healthy seasonal twist.
You guys! We didn’t order takeout EVERY night last week! (::cue downcast shameful eyes::)
Apparently in the medical school world, that’s considered a win.
I’ll take it.
My goal for this week is to get that takeout # down to a big fat ZERO, but I have to admit that when you’re on your feet almost all day and get home at 6pm and your couch looks so.darn.comfy…it is HARD! All of you working folk – I finally understand. Thank you for putting up with my 30 step recipes all this time. <3<3
I’ve taken preventative measures this week, though, arming myself with a menu plan full of less than 30 minutes meals and a fridge full of veggies (and cheese!) that will (hopefully) keep me excited about eating and cooking. Kicking it off is this roasted cauliflower cacio e pepe, which combines the most simple of simple Italian pasta dishes with roasted cauliflower. With a sauce of cheese on cheese (YES!!) and a big black pepper kick, this comes together in as much time as it takes to boil water and cook pasta. So no time at all. I like the sound of that.
I had honestly never had this dish until the.boy and I went to Italy this past summer, but to say I haven’t gotten it out of my mind since then is an understatement. Its beauty is in its simplicity, though, so making sure you get some real deal pecorino and parmigiano cheese is KEY. Otherwise, this will pretty much taste like garbage…and we just can’t stand for that.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1½ cups grated pecorino romano
- 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb pasta
- Heat oven to 450F.
- In a large bowl, toss together the olive oil and cauliflower florets until well combined. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until tender and starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large bowl, combine the pecorino romano, parmigiano reggiano, and freshly ground black pepper. Mash with just enough cold water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste evenly in the bowl.
- Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Pour the pasta into the bowl with the cheese. Stir vigorously to coat the pasta, adding a bit of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce if necessary. Add the cauliflower to the bowl and toss to coat. Serve topped with more black pepper and additional pecorino.