Sarah Grueneberg

Search for Chicago's best cacio e pepe leads down untraditional paths

Search for Chicago's best cacio e pepe leads down untraditional paths

My favorite Italian pastas depend not on dozens of ingredients and laborious techniques, but on sourcing a few quality ingredients that, when combined in exacting ways, transform into something greater than their parts. Pasta carbonara, amatriciana, aglio e olio — these are recipes so basic, stripping them down any further would leave almost nothing behind, yet each tastes as comforting as dishes that take hours to finish.

At the pinnacle of these astonishing noodle transformations might be cacio e pepe, a dish with most of the ingredients right there in the name. Pecorino cheese and black pepper join with pasta, pasta water and maybe some olive oil (though not always) to make one...

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