Guy’s Grocery Games-Inspired 6-Ingredient Cacio e Pepe

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Photo by Leah Brickley

Guy Fieri introduced us to Guy’s Grocery Games‘ redemption road this week. Sixteen previously unsuccessful competitors get a second chance to maneuver through the grocery aisles and cook up winning dishes for the judges for a chance to win up to $40,000!

Our first round of chefs was challenged to whip up an Italian dish with only seven items or fewer. We in Food Network Kitchen instantly thought of the very simple (and very delicious) pasta dish cacio e pepe, which translates to “cheese and pepper.” It’s having a resurgence and is super-easy to make, and if you want to play by Guy’s rules, you even have room for a seventh ingredient like parsley, lemon zest or crushed red pepper.

Cacio e Pepe

Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti or linguine until al dente, scoop out 3/4 cup of the pasta water (this dish’s secret and free ingredient) and drain the pasta.

Melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, over medium heat, in a large skillet and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh coarsely ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Swirl the skillet while you toast the pepper in the butter for a few minutes. Then add the cooked pasta and toss, pour in the reserved pasta water and let it come to a simmer.

Add 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan and 1/2 cup of grated pecorino and 2 more tablespoons of unsalted butter. Toss until the sauce reduces and clings to the pasta. Serve with a sprinkle of black pepper and more cheese.

Tune in next Sunday at 8|7c to see who is redeemed.

Photo by Leah Brickley