Cacio e pepe is a Roman dish, it is also the best “macaroni and cheese” that you will ever eat.
This is the dish that reminds me of home, even though making comparisons to Kraft dinners is probably sacrilege.
Cacio is a Roman cheese, and pepe is simply black pepper.
Throw that on top of fresh homemade pasta, and serve in a bowl made of cheese.
A bowl made of cheese.
I don’t know how they do it, and I don’t really want to know because it would take away some of the magic, but the pasta comes to you in an edible-cheese-bowl.
After a dose of pure comfort food, you might not have room for a secondo (a second course of meat or fish). We usually have a starter before the cacio and pepe- carciofi alla giudea. If artichokes are still in season, try it for yourself.
In a moment of hunger induced weakness, we once tried to dine at 7:15. This was met with curt finger shakes from the waiters outside and a simple admonishment:
“Questa è Roma!”
This is Rome.
I am pretty sure that they open at 7:30 pm, but save face by waiting until at least 8 pm to dine. No one in Rome would really dream of eating before 8 pm. But regardless of what time you arrive, if you order cacio e pepe, you should be met with a nod of approval from the waiter.
Oh, and never have dinner without wine. Un mezzo litro di vino rosso, della casa, is sufficient.
Piazza di Santa Cecilia, 24