Cacio e Pepe with Pancetta and Arugula

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
"I love how the creste di gallo noodles have lots of nooks and crannies for the cheese and pepper sauce to get stuck in," says Giada.



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook 2 minutes less than the package directions, about 8 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the pepper and toast it, stirring often, for about a minute, or until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and scrape up any bits that are sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Add the pasta and sprinkle with the parmigiano-reggiano. Add another 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and stir to coat all of the pasta in the cheese. Add the pecorino and butter and stir to combine, creating a light, creamy cheese sauce. Add the arugula and cook until wilted. Add additional reserved pasta water as needed to maintain the light sauce consistency. Serve with more grated parmigiano-reggiano, if desired.