Feb 11, 2010

Cacio e Pepe

What will drinking 5 Camelbaks a day do to a small female? Make her have to tinkle in the middle of the night!  This happens almost every night now. So last night around 4 am, I woke up and my body didn't want move. That's right, Tuesday's training session finally hit me. I begged my body to go back to sleep, but it wasn't cooperating. I thought I'd have to roll out of my bed and crawl to the bathroom, but my legs are the only part of me that isn't sore! Thanks trainer dude, thanks so much.

That evening I tried to make a really simple pasta dish that I was obsessed with in Italy. While there, I ordered it at three different restaurants. The dish is called Cacio e Pepe, which translates to Cheese and Pepper. Besides the pasta, cheese and ground pepper are the only ingredients. The standard cheese for Cacio e Pepe is Pecorino Romano and using freshly ground peppercorns is suggested. And since I was going all out blowing money like I'm Lil Wayne, why not buy pasta that's double the price because it's imported from Italy? Whole Foods loves me and my bank account.

The dish is fairly simple to make. You grate the cheese beforehand, grind some pepper, and start cooking your pasta. After the pasta is done, you reserve some of the hot water (because it contains starch and salt), and then drain the pasta. You then put the pasta back in the pot, and stir in the grated cheese, pepper, and slowly add water until you reach a creamy consistency. 

Here are pictures of the Cacio e Pepe dishes I had in Italy.

First, at Trattoria Der Pallaro, Rome (the pasta on the right):

Second, at a small restaurant in the Trastevere area of Rome:

Third, at Ditarambo in Rome:

 And here's my version in Mt. Pleasant, SC:

Well....not so much. It wasn't bad for a first attempt, but it wasn't nearly as creamy as I wanted it to be. That should explain the massive amount of extra grated Pecorino on top. After reviewing my pictures from Italy, I'm starting to wonder if those cheaters used butter!

After the carb overload, I went to the gym for a 45 minute cardio sesh. I kind of hate myself for that right now because I'm so sore. Tonight should be a lot of fun. I'm going to whine/beg/plead with him to let me lay on the mat...and not move.


  1. hahahha I totally pee in the middle of the night pretty much every day! This dish sounds amazing. I bet you'll get it next time! Maybe you need to get a slightly higher fat % cheese?

  2. ugh mother nature always calls in the middle of the night. I hate itttttt.

  3. haha. my professor was telling us how as we get older, we are going to have to get up more often in the middle of the night... just like when we are infants. Ive been lucky so far, but I know I need to drink more water!

    um yes, i think the cheaters DEFINITELY used butter!! yours looks tasty too though!

  4. Hello darling, check this out:


    So strange that 2 of my 15 or so blogs I follow are talking about this simple little dish!

  5. Bummer about brunch! We love Crave too...but we've never been there for brunch, just dinner. Hope you're doing well :)