A minimalist Italian classic dish made up of pasta, butter, cheese, and plenty of black pepper. This recipe in particular includes a simple meatballs recipe to pair with it.
Ohh yeah, we’re going Italian today. If you read my Italy recap, you may remembering me mentioning the infamous Italian dish: Cacio e Pepe. Yes well, obviously I had to recreate it and all of its simplicity. Butter. Cheese. Black Pepper. (And meatballs because Miguel’s needy). If you aren’t eating this for dinner tonight, well, you should be. I know you’re curious, and just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s boring.
As a side note, in Italy, my cacio e pepe was served in a CHEESE BOWL. Kind of like a Panera bread bowl except cheese instead of bread. Can you imagine? No? Ok well basically it looked like this. DEAD. PS that photo is from the restaurant where I ended up eating the dish in Rome… a weird but cool coincidence since I found it on Pinterest.
I wasn’t about go to through the trouble to create it though, so instead I added meatballs to this dish to spruce it up. Not that it needs sprucing but you know.
Ok so let’s break down this dish.
Spaghetti- I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t like spaghetti, so I think we’re good there
Butter-Obviously delicious, despite the fact that we occasionally feel guilty eating it. No, you cannot sub coconut oil in its place, and I suppose you could technically use ghee instead but why would you do that? If you’re going to eat cheese, you might as well eat butter too.
Parmesan cheese- If you love cheese, you HAVE to love parmesan. It’s a classic cheese that goes perfectly with pasta.
Romano cheese- Similar to parmesan cheese. If you aren’t sure if you like it, you probably do because it has a pretty mild flavor.
Black pepper- A life necessity. I throw black pepper on everythingggggg…. vegetables, eggs (cannot eat eggs without pepper!) and now pasta too.
So… can I assume this dish is up your alley? As for the meatballs, they’re pretty basic (are you sensing a theme here?). Ground beef, egg, parsley, and breadcrumbs and BOOM, done.
I’m thinking a simple pasta night is in your very near future.
- For the pasta:
- ½ lb. spaghetti
- 3 tbsp butter
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese (or more)
- ½ cup shredded romano cheese (or more)
- Salt to taste
- LOTS of black pepper to taste
- For the meatballs:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 egg
- ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp parsley
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Start by cooking the pasta in a large pot on the stovetop. While the pasta is cooking, make the meatballs.
- Place beef and egg in a large bowl and mash them together; add the breadcrumbs and parsley and stir to combine.
- Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Use your hands to form the beef into meatballs and place them on the baking sheet. Place them in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes and then turn the meatballs over and cook for an additional 12-15 minutes.
- By now, the pasta should be done cooking. Strain the pasta and then place it back in the pot or in a large bowl.
- Stir in the butter, parmesan, romano, salt, and pepper. Add additional cheese and/or pepper to taste.
- Top the pasta with meatballs and enjoy!