Cacio e Pepe with Crispy Pancetta

Total Time:
40 min
15 min
25 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the salt and the linguine and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.

  • While the water is coming to a boil, add the diced pancetta to a large, deep saute pan. Cook until golden brown and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. To the same saute pan, add the cream, butter and 1 tablespoon of the black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by a third, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmigiano and the Pecorino until smooth; the sauce will be a little thick. Keep warm over low heat.

  • With tongs, remove the linguine from the pot and add it directly to the sauce; toss along with 1 cup of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce out. Transfer to a large serving platter and garnish with more Parmigiano and Pecorino, the remaining 1 tablespoon pepper, and the parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve immediately.

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    Recipe courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian