This creamy cacio e pepe gnocchi recipe is the perfect go to dish for any night of the week! With only six essential ingredients and only 20 minutes of your time, this recipe will become a staple at your dinner table!
I had family visiting this weekend and randomly decided that I'd make some cacio e pepe. Melted some butter in a pan, added flour, black pepper, salt, and parmesan cheese (I didn't have pecorino romano cheese on hand). Then, I added some freshly diced garlic to the sauce and prosciutto and fresh basil on top - it was SO good. I posted it to my instagram stories and SO many people asked me to post the recipe. So, here we are.
Of course I made this recipe in my favorite Calphalon pans, they're the best! Easy clean up, impeccable nonstick coating, and sleek and stylish (as always) - oh and dishwasher safe? C'mon, it's a no brainer! If you don't have these pans, make sure to grab a set ASAP!
Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian dish that literally translates to "cheese and pepper". It typically consists of pretty simple ingredients but has so much flavor. With our upcoming trip to Italy in the Fall, I am SO excited to try this dish in Italy with homemade pasta (I don't make my own pasta, although I'd love to take a pasta making class on the trip).
Anyway, this cacio e pepe gnocchi dish is not the classic Italian pasta dish, but is absolutely inspired by it. It's creamy, subtly cheesy, and the salt, pepper, basil, and garlic flavors all come together so beautifully. In addition, this recipe is SO easy to make and can easily come together in under 30 minutes. Let's talk about what you'll need and how to make it!
Cacio e Pepe is a Roman dish that consists of pecorino cheese, milk, butter, flour, and salt and pepper. Cacio e pepe literally translates to "cheese and pepper" and is such a delicious dish with only a few simple ingredients.
This cacio e pepe gnocchi is not a traditional cacio e pepe but is absolutely inspired by the flavorful dish!
Gnocchi: you can use cauliflower gnocchi, homemade gnocchi, potato gnocchi etc.
Butter: what's a recipe without butter? The butter is melted to start making the cacio e pepe sauce.
All-purpose Flour: we use flour as a thickening agent. After the butter is melted, add flour to create a paste which is the basis of the sauce.
Milk: I used whole milk but you can use whatever milk suits your diet.
Pecorino Cheese: pecorino is the traditional cheese used for this recipe. However, it can be difficult to find, so you can use parmesan as a close swap. I recommend using freshly grated cheese.
Salt and Pepper: I love that you only need a little salt and pepper as the star of this dish. the flavors are so simple together but just so darn good!
Garlic: cacio e pepe does not traditionally include garlic, but I like adding it for extra flavor.
Basil: fresh basil is best!
Reserved Pasta Water: reserving the water (It's not technically pasta water because gnocchi isn't pasta, but you know what I mean!) helps to thin out the sauce and add flavor to the sauce in the process. When adding pasta water to the sauce, it creates an emulsion that adds silky richness to the sauce. So save that water!
Prosciutto: this is optional but such a good addition!
Olive oil: this is to crisp up the gnocchi in a large frying pan after cooking the pasta. We'll talk more about this in the "how to make cacio e pepe gnocchi" section next.
I recommend serving this dish with a mixed salad or soup. Also, garlic bread is ideal with this dish for the perfect pairing!
If you'd like drink recommendations, I high recommend try this recipe with my Bourbon Smash or Blackberry Mojito!
This blog post and recipe for cacio e pepe gnocchi was made in partnership with Calphalon! My thoughts and opinions are genuine always. Thanks for your continued support!
When adding pasta water to the sauce, it creates an emulsion that adds silky richness to the sauce. So save that water!
Gnocchi is a type of dumpling that has potatoes. Typically, it's a dough made with flour, potatoes, eggs, and salt and cut into inch thick pieces. It's texture is chewy.
Gnocchi is a dumpling and is made with potatoes while pasta is simply made with flour and water. In fact, Gnocchi is not considered pasta at all.
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Made the sauce with a fettuccine noodle instead of gnocchi and it was to die for! Can’t wait to try it with gnocchi next time.