An iconic dish of the ‘Eternal City’, cacio e pepe translates to “cheese and pepper”, albeit strangely making no mention of the more recognised ‘formaggio’. The choice of the lesser known lexicon reflects an interesting linguistic nuance. The more familiar ‘formaggio’ derives from the Latin ‘forma’, meaning shape or mould. In contrast, ‘cacio’ comes from the Latin ‘caseus’. Indeed, the English ‘cheese’ stems from the same root, hence the shared initial consonant. The Latin ‘caseus’ is also the basis for the modern English word ‘casein’, the technical name for milk-derived protein.
Whilst ‘formaggio’ is the more widely used of the two, ‘cacio’ is prevalent in the south. Parking this linguistic digression, the traditional base for this sauce sees the inclusion of just 2 ingredients: black pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese. The result is a deceptively simplistic sauce packed with flavour, much like a stripped-back ‘mac n cheese’, but suitably more rustic and Italian in spirit. The creamy indulgence of this Roman sauce makes it the perfect accompaniment to our pici, which although bearing visual resemblance to the more common spaghetti, aren’t to be confused. Pici are distinguished by their thicker, more robust strands, ideal for lapping up every last drop of the cacio e pepe sauce. Cheese lovers, this is your moment.
Allergens in BOLD & CAPITALISED:
Durum WHEAT Semola, WHEAT Flour, Free Range EGG, Rice Flour
Cacio e Pepe Sauce (125g):
Pecorino Romano Cheese (MILK), Grana Padano Cheese (MILK, Salt, Rennet, EGG Lysozyme), Mascarpone Cheese (MILK), Black Pepper
Italian Grated Cheese (8g):
MILK, Salt, Rennet
Calories per serving: 906kcal
Following nutritional information is per 100g
Of which saturates 7.8g
Of which sugars 1.1g