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Cacio e Pepe Becomes a Trend

Looking for a way to make your dish extra-delicious? Why not cacio e pepe it! The combination of pepper and cheese drives a range of recipes beyond the famed Roman pasta preparation. Here are six to try.

11:00 AM EST on February 6, 2024

cacio e pepe rigatoni

Rigatone Cacio e Pepe, e Limone. Photo by Meigan Arnone

Of all the classic Roman pasta dishes, including Amatriciana and Carbonara, it seems the latest to the "It" trend, Cacio e Pepe, is proving to be the most versatile in adaptions, with alternative noodles and even dishes without pasta.

This occurred to me last week when stuffing my face with Cacio e Pepe Arancini at the opening of Travelers Poets & Friends, the fabulous new meatless Italian market / cafe / restaurant / enoteca in Greenwich Village.

It should have occurred to me much earlier when I check Appetito's Instagram page to find hundreds of daily likes (now approaching 9,000) for our contributor Danielle Kaye's (@thehealthyishchef) cabbage-based creation, linked below.

And the final acknowledgement as to my obtuseness of the preparation's versatility is that we at Appetito have featured many of these variations (including one of my own — double duh for that one).

Before we share our roundup of said variations already at Appetito (with more to come, I'm sure), a little critical thinking about this reality seems appropriate. And the answer is simplicity. The combination of salty cheese and pepper is as "Cooking 101" as it gets. Adapting this classic flavor combination to alternative elements and enhancements seems like a no-brainer.

In what ways other than traditional pasta do you make Cacio e Pepe? We'd love to know (andrew@appetitomagazine.com), though please don't mention fish or martinis.

Cabbage Cacio e Pepe by Danielle Kaye

Cacio e Pepe Cabbage.
Cabbage Cacio e Pepe. Photo by Danielle Kaye.

Shaken Cacio e Pepe at The Ruby in NYC.

Rigatoni cacio e pepe
Rigatoni Cacio e Pepe at The Ruby.

Chicken Cacio e Pepe by Andrew Cotto.

chicken cacio e pepe
Chicken Cacio e Pepe combines the rich pasta sauce with usually bland chicken breast—a win-win!

Lasagna Cacio e Pepe from Via Carota.

cacio e pepe lasagna
The Cacio e Pepe Lasagna from Via Carota. Photo: Courtesy of Via Carota

Cacio e Pepe with Truffles from Cremini's Aperitivo & Kitchen.

Cacio e Pepe alla Elena at Cremini's Apertivo & Kitchen.

Rigatoni Cacio e Pepe, e Limone by Gaetano Arnone.

cacio e pepe rigatoni
Rigatoni Cacio e Pepe, e Limone. Photo by Meigan Arnone
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