Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin

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This is a pasta with a twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan – Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Creamy Boursin Cheese to make everyone at the dinner table swoon.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin featured image above

Cacio e Pepe is a pasta dish straight from the cuisine of the city of Rome. In fact, this dish is literally on every menu in the city. But what does it mean? Well, a literal translation of the Italian phrase “Cacio e Pepe” is “cheese and pepper pasta.” Can’t get simpler than that!

Cacio, though, refers to a very specific type of cheese, mainly Pecorino Romano, which is a hard and salty sheep’s milk cheese. But in this recipe, we are throwing in a twist! Boursin cheese is added alongside the sheep’s cheese for an added level of creaminess.

The original Cacio e Pepe has a strong flavor thanks to the Pecorino Romano sharp cheese and a large amount of pepper. With this variation, you will find that there is still a strong cheese flavor (if you opt for the pecorino cheese) but it will be a bit more savory, along with that added kick of garlic. The pepper will continue to add a nice citrusy, spicy, perhaps, dare I say, even a little bit of a floral element to it. This twist brings together the best of two worlds and you will wonder where it’s been all your life.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 oz Boursin cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan or pecorino cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn
Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin ingredients

How to Make – The Steps

Step 1: In a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add the spaghetti and cook it al dente according to the package instructions.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin step 1

Step 2: While the pasta is cooking, grind the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle to a fine consistency.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin step 2

Step 3: Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When foamy, add the black pepper and toast until fragrant, 1- 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin step 3

Step 4: Add the Boursin cheese and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Whisk the sauce until smooth.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin step 4

Step 5: Add the parmesan and mix well until combined. Stir in the cooked pasta and toss to combine.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin step 5

Step 6: Transfer the Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Boursin cheese to plates and sprinkle with some more grated cheese and black peppercorns. Enjoy!

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin step 6

Top Tips For a Perfect Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin

  • While you might be tempted to set aside the extra pasta water early, don’t. You want that water to be starchy, so remove some at the end of cooking your pasta. This will help with the creaminess.
  • To help with making the water extra starchy, refrain from putting too much water in the pot for cooking. Keep the water level shallow.
  • Be sure to not overcook the pasta. The pasta will continue to cook slightly in the pan when you have added it to the sauce, so cooking it al dente will prevent it from becoming mushy later.
  • As for the cheese? Well, the trick with the Boursin and pecorino is to whisk continuously until it’s all melted over low heat.
Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin featured below

FAQs

Do I need to grind my peppercorns? I don’t have a mortar and pestle!

I do recommend grinding the peppercorns for the best, and most authentic, flavor. But not everyone has a mortar and pestle, so some alternate ways to grind your peppercorns are to use a coffee grinder, a mug and a cutting board, or just some old fashioned banging the corns in a bag with a rolling pin. Or you could just use ground black pepper.

How spicy is this Cacio e Pepe?

While you can adjust the amount of pepper to taste, the dish should have some kick to it. Let’s just say you don’t need high levels of heat but you do need enough to feel it.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

You can! Boursin makes a dairy-free version of the popular cheese you can substitute. Switch out the parmesan/pecorino for another vegan cheese of your choosing and replace the butter with vegan margarine.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin featured below

Serving Suggestions

This is a pasta that can be served on its own. But if you are looking to pair it with something, I always go for something green to counteract the carbs. Might I suggest this delicious Brussels Sprout Salad, or some Broccoli Rabe? The sky’s the limit!

How to Store

This pasta should be enjoyed right away, but if you have leftovers I recommend storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. When reheating in the microwave, add a splash of water, and refrain from stirring until it’s cooked for one minute. Remove from microwave, stir, and continue to do 30-second intervals until heated through.

If you’re reheating your pasta on the stove, be sure to add a splash of water, as the sauce will have thickened in the fridge.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin featured below

Cacio e Pepe Pasta Twist with Boursin

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 4 oz spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 oz Boursin cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan or pecorino cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add the spaghetti and cook it al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, grind the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle to a fine consistency.
  • Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When foamy, add the black pepper and toast until fragrant, 1- 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Add the Boursin cheese and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Whisk the sauce until smooth.
  • Add the parmesan and mix well until combined. Stir in the cooked pasta and toss to combine.
  • Transfer the Cacio e Pepe pasta with Boursin cheese to plates and sprinkle with some more grated cheese and black peppercorns. Enjoy!
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