Cacio e Pepe

December 13, 2020

My favorite dinner to make straight from the pantry.

My Favorite Pantry Pasta

This easy weeknight dinner is the first thing I think of when that dreaded question floods my mind at 5:00 on a Tuesday…”what am I going to make for dinner tonight?” (insert cold sweat and mild panic) I ALWAYS have everything I need for this dish on hand and can easily pair it with my super simple garlic bread and a toss together bean salad.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Cacio e Pepe

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 oz. spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan, finely grated
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup arugula


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain; reserving ½ cup pasta water.


In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add pepper and toast until fragrant. Add pasta water, spaghetti, and remaining tablespoon of butter. Over low heat add cheese and use tongs to toss until pasta is coated and cheese has melted. Turn off heat and toss in arugula and lemon zest. Transfer to bowls and serve warm.

Looking for more simple weeknight recipes? Check out Recipe Club.

Learn More