The Roman icon takes humble cheese and hot water, and through a magical alchemy, transforms them into a silky sauce. Hit it with plenty of pepper and spoon juicy greens on the side.
What You Get
Grated Parmesan cheese
What You’ll Need
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chile flakes (optional)
Makes 3 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Separate the chard, cut the leaves into wide ribbons, and chop the ribs. Chop 2 or 3 cloves of garlic.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chard ribs and sauté until they start to soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and a pinch of chile flakes, if you’d like a little heat, and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the chard leaves and tomatoes and simmer until wilted, 5 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer to bowls and keep warm.
Add half of the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes or 1 minute less than the package instructions.
Wipe out the sauté pan, return it to low heat, and melt 2 tablespoons butter. Using tongs, transfer the pasta from the boiling water to the pan with the butter. Pour ½ cup of the hot pasta water over and toss to combine. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Toss until the cheese and water bind to form a sauce and cloak the strands, 2 minutes. Season with salt and grind generously with pepper.
Pile the cacio e pepe on plates, with the bowls of braised chard on the side. Grind with pepper and serve warm.