Cacio e Pepe with Pancetta and Arugula

  • Yield : 6 servings
  • Cook Time : 40m
  • Ready In : 40m
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  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound creste di gallo pasta (cockscomb-shaped) or other short pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 pound pancetta, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 cups freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, plus more (optional) for serving
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups packed baby arugula, roughly chopped


Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook 2 minutes less than the package directions, about 8 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the pepper and toast it, stirring often, for about a minute, or until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and scrape up any bits that are sticking to the bottom of the skillet.

Step 3

Add the pasta and sprinkle with the parmigiano-reggiano. Add another 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and stir to coat all of the pasta in the cheese. Add the pecorino and butter and stir to combine, creating a light, creamy cheese sauce. Add the arugula and cook until wilted. Add additional reserved pasta water as needed to maintain the light sauce consistency. Serve with more grated parmigiano-reggiano, if desired.

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