If you want to impress a date by cooking at home, here's your new go-to meal. It's easy to prepare (meaning no sweating in the kitchen), a definite crowd pleaser and it only requires a few ingredients, most of which, you likely already have in your pantry. A classic Roman pasta dish, the name cacio e pepe (pronounced kah-cho eh pep-ay) literally means "cheese and pepper" in Italian. Which is essentially all this recipe calls for. It's sprezzatura on a plate—casual yet nuanced, and easy to make your own. Silky and creamy with a touch of heat from the pepper, it proves that simple is by no means boring.
Because the elements of the dish are so few, quality ingredients are able to really shine. If you're buying specifically for this dish, shell out a few more bucks for hearty Italian made pasta and whole hunks of good cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino.
of pasta like spaghetti or bucatini
cracked black pepper
finely grated parmesan cheese