Pasta Cacio e Peppe

Pasta Cacio y Peppe is a classic Italian pasta dish from Rome. Pasta is cooked to "Al Dente" or "To the Tooth" and is then cooked in a light sauce made from starchy pasta water, butter, cheese and fresh pepper. This simple recipe is basically pasta tossed in cheese and pepper and can be made for a simple and inexpensive lunch or dinner. This is also a great recipe to bust out if you want to impress friend while on a budget.

Pasta Cacio e Peppe aka Pasta w. Cheese and Pepper

  • 8 oz. Spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 3/4 C Pasta Water
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • 1/2 C Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. Fresh Pepper
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1. Bring 3 - 4 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Place the salt in the water, stir in the pasta and cook for 8 minutes. This will cook the pasta until it is "Al Dente" and will be slightly undercooked.

    2. Remove 3/4 of a cup of the pasta water and then carefully drain the pasta well. The pasta water will be used to help make the sauce.

    3. Place the pasta water and butter into the pot and stir together well over low heat. Add the hot pasta, cheese, pepper and salt to the pot and toss very well. The starchy pasta water, butter and cheese will melt together and form a cheesy and peppery sauce that will lightly coat every strand of pasta. The slightly undercooked pasta will finish cooking in the sauce while it soaks in more flavor.

    Serve this immediately with fresh pepper and more cheese on top.

    Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Today we are going to make homemade spaghetti and meatballs. I am going to teach you how to cook your pasta perfectly so it soaks up flavor from the cooking water and the sauce. I am also going to show you how to make meatballs that will stay moist and burst with flavor. You can use homemade sauce or your favorite jarred marinara. I would say that this is something you do not want to skimp out on. A good sauce will make or break this dish.

    Now let's get cracking! Chef Egg

    Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 C Milk
  • 1/3 C Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp. Dried Italian Herbs
  • 1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1/2 lb. Mild Italian Sausage - 2 links
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 qt. Marinara Sauce - homemade or from a jar
  • 1 lb. Dry Spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 1. Place the first 6 ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well. Let this sit for 15 minutes. This mixture is going to season the meatballs and keep them light and moist while you simmer them.

    2. Place the beef into the bowl, and then squeeze the sausage out of it's casing and into the bowl. Mix everything together until just incorporated. The beef adds beefy flavor and the sausage is going to give you pork flavor and add extra Italian seasoning to the meatballs. Do not over mix this mixture or you will have heavy meatballs.

    3. Take a 1/3 cup scoops of the meat mixture, lightly roll into even balls and then place on a plate. The scoop size is up to you, but I like my meatballs to be manageable size while I brown them.

    4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and when it smokes, gently place the meatballs into the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes and then turn the meatballs over and repeat. Browning the meatballs is very important and is a big step in adding huge layer of beefy flavor to the recipe. You are just browning the beef and it will not be cooked through.

    5. Place the meatballs into a medium saucepan, add the marinara and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. This will cook the meat balls though and incorporate the flavor of the meat ball to the sauce and vice versa.

    6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt. Add the pasta, stir well and cook for 9-10 minutes. Drain the pasta and save 1 cup of the pasta water. Do not rinse the pasta. The boiling, salted water will cook your pasta to exact doneness and season it well enough for your to actually taste the pasta goodness. The starchy pasta water will help thicken the sauce in the next step as well as the hot pasta.

    7. Place the hot pasta water and 1.5 cups of the simmering marinara sauce back into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta to the light sauce and toss well, cook until the pasta soaks in the sauce. Finishing the pasta in the sauce helps to soak in further flavor.

    8. Place the pasta into a bowl and top with meatballs and extra sauce. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh pepper.

    Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas

    Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas

  • 2.5 C Flour
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 lb. Russet Potato, baked and cooled
  • ½ C Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Egg
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 C Green Peas, fresh or canned
  • ½ C Cream
  • ¼ C Fresh Herbs, chopped
  • Remove the skin from the cooled potato and shred finely on a grater. Place 1 cup of flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Place the potato, ricotta and egg in the well and start to mix. Lightly knead the dough on the floured surface adding a small amount of flour until it is light and does not stick to the surface. Cut off a small portion of the dough, roll into a snake, then cut the snake into small 3/4-inch portions and place on a sheet tray and freeze for 10 minutes.

    Pre heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan, then add the peas and toss for 3 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer.

    Boil the gnocchi in salted water until they float to the top, about 90 seconds.

    Add the gnocchi to the sauce and cook until the sauce is thick then toss in the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.

    One Skillet Spaghetti

    One Skillet Spaghetti

  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage or Ground Beef, Chicken or Turkey
  • 1 C Mushrooms, sliced or Zucchini, Squash, Eggplant, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 C Bell Peppers, diced
  • 1 C Onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Dried Italian Herbs
  • 1/2 tsp. Red Chili Flakes
  • 1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 28 oz. Canned Tomatoes, diced
  • 3.5 C Water
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 lb. Dry Pasta
  • 1/3 C Basil, sliced
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil to the pan. When the oil smokes, add the sausage to the pan and brown well. Add the mushrooms, onions and peppers to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the next 3 ingredients, stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water and sugar and bring to a simmer. Cover at the pasta snd cook for 15 minutes on medium heat,stirring every 3 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and stir in the basil.

    Oven Roasted Tomatoes

    Oven Roasted Tomatoes

  • 4 Tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper, Dried Italian Herbs
  • Pre heat the oven to 350 F and place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Lay out the tomatoes in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to shrivel up.

    You can puree the tomatoes to create a flavorful sauce for pasta or spread on appetizers and pizza. You can also freeze for later use.

    Pasta Carbonara with Summer Vegetables

    Pasta carbonara is a fantastic pasta dish perfect for the hot summer months. This Roman recipe is created by tossing hot pasta with a mixture of egg yolk, bacon and parmesan cheese. Tossing the hot pasta with the egg and cheese mixture makes a smooth and creamy sauce that is easy to prepare and tastes incredible. During the summer months I like to add fresh vegetable that become available like asparagus, greens, bells peppers, zucchini, squash and corn. You can also add any canned or frozen vegetables that you like. To boost the bright summer flavors, don't forget to add the lemon juice and fresh herbs.

    Summer Vegetable Pasta Carbonara

  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 C Zucchini, diced
  • ½ C Bell Peppers, diced
  • 1 C Eggplant, diced
  • ½ C Red Onion, diced
  • 4 oz. Bacon, sliced thin
  • 8 oz. Pasta
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • ½ C Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 Lemon, Juice
  • 1/4 C Fresh Herbs, chopped
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil to the pan. When it smokes add the vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes then remove from the pan. Add the bacon to the pan, brown well, then remove it from the pan then set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente. Place the egg yolk, cheese, pepper and lemon juice in a large bowl and slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of the boiling pasta water. When the pasta is done, drain well and toss with the egg mixture, vegetables and bacon then serve immediately. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or basil.

    If the cheese does not melt all of the way, you can simmer the pasta in 1/2 C of the pasta water over low heat until the cheese melts.

    Pasta with Ham and Asparagus

    Check out this easy pasta recipe that uses some pantry staples and everyday ingredients to get big flavor. I created this one day as I was whipping up some lunch by using some odds and ends in the fridge. You can add any kind of vegetables you like and can switch out the ham for bacon or any kind of lunch meat like smoked turkey, salami or roast beef.

    Pasta with Ham and Asparagus

  • 8 oz. Pasta
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 C Asparagus, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 Lemon, Juiced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pasta for one minute less than directed. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan, when it smokes sauté the asparagus and ham for 2 minutes, add the garlic and cook for one minute then turn off the heat. When the pasta is done, turn the heat back on the asparagus, add the pasta and 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the pan and toss. Add the cheese, lemon, salt and pepper, toss well and serve immediately.

    Pasta with Bacon and Tomatoes

    Pasta with Bacon and Tomatoes

  • 4 Bacon, strips
  • 1/4 Onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic, smashed
  • 2 C Tomato, chopped
  • 1 C Red Wine, White Wine or Chicken and Veggie Stock
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt and Pepper
  • 8 oz. Pasta
  • 1/2 C Pasta Water
  • 1/4 C Fresh Basil, chopped or 2 tsp. dried
  • Heat a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Add the onions, cook until soft then add the garlic and and cook for one minute. Add the tomatoes, wine or stock and sugar to the pan. Cover the sauce and simmer on low heat until the tomatoes break down, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    Place the pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water and cook for 2 minutes less the the instructions read. Add the pasta and 1/2 C of the pasta water to the tomato sauce. Simmer the pasta for 3 minutes or until the sauce soaks into the pasta then stir in the basil.

    Now Get Crackin'! Chef Egg

    Pasta Aglio y Olio (Garlic and Oil)

    This dish is a simple and classic Italian way to prepare your pasta at home. The sauce is flavored with mixture of olive oil, garlic, a little spicy red chili and is created by tossing the warm olive oil mixture with hot pasta, starchy pasta water and parmesan cheese. We undercook the pasta slightly in the water only to finish the cooking in the pan while allowing the sauce to thicken and flavors to soak into the pasta.

    This recipe cooks in less than 10 minutes and can be topped with garden vegetables, shrimp, scallops or chicken. You can even add a couple of chopped tomatoes and fresh basil for a fresh summer side dish.

    Pasta Aglio y Olio (Garlic and Oil)
    Serves 2

  • 1/2 lb. Pasta
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. Red Chili Flakes, a nice pinch depending on your preference
  • 1/2 C Pasta Water
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt, season to your taste
  • 1/2 C Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. Dried Italian Herbs like Oregano or Basil
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook your pasta 2 minutes less then the instructions say. While that is cooking, heat the olive oil and garlic on low heat for 3 minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic. When the pasta is ready, add it to the pan along with the pasta water, salt and chili flakes then cook for one minute tossing the whole time. Continue to toss in the cheese, herbs and fresh pepper unit the sauce thickens and coats the pasta lightly. Garnish with a spindle of cheese and serve immediately.

    Rigatoni with Sausage and Tomatoes


    Rigatoni With Sausage, Tomatoes & Cream Sauce -- powered by ehow

    Rigatoni With Sausage and Tomatoes

  • 8 oz. Pasta, dried
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 8 oz. Ground Sausage, chicken, turkey or pork
  • ¼ Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. Chili Flakes
  • ¼ C Heavy Cream
  • ¼ C Fresh Basil, chopped or 1/2 tbsp. Dried Herbs
  • Boil a large pot of salted water; cook the pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the to the pan and sauté the onion until soft. Add the sausage and garlic to the pan and sauté until golden brown. Add the tomato and chili flakes and simmer until the tomatoes break down. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and basil to the pan and toss to coat.

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