Comfort food you can feel good about.
12 ounces Spaghetti, whole wheat
1 tablespoon Freshly cracked pepper
2 tablespoons Butter, unsalted, cold
1 cup Pecorino Romano, finely grated
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, cubed
Additional freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Lemon Roasted Broccolini:
1 pound Broccolini, ends trimmed and cut in half lengthwise if super thick
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves Garlic, smashed
1 Lemon, medium, thinly sliced into wheels
Black pepper, freshly cracked, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Cacio e Pepe: Bring a large pot filled halfway with salted water to a boil. Add the whole wheat pasta and cook 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking liquid in a glass measuring cup before draining the pasta. *It’s helpful to have as little water as possible to just cover the pasta for this preparation since you will use starchy pasta water to build up an ultra-velvety sauce.
Meanwhile, add cracked black pepper to a large skillet and toast over medium heat, swirling until fragrant, about 1 minute–it should smell ultra-green, bright and peppery, not burnt. Add ⅓ cup of the pasta water to stop the toasting process and start to build the sauce. Turn off the heat, and add the butter to the skillet and swirl to combine off the heat to let the hot liquid cool down a bit before adding in the cheese to prevent clumping/stringiness.
Once the sauce has cooled a bit, start to whisk in the pecorino and parmesan cheeses a little at a time. Slowly add a bit more of the reserved pasta water to help loosen the sauce and continue melting the cheese. Whisk until the cheese has melted and sauce is thick and velvety.
Over medium-low heat, add pasta to the skillet (add a splash more pasta water if the sauce seems dry). Stir and toss with tongs to coat the pasta with the sauce and finish the cooking process as the sauce flavors and coats the noodles in silky, cheesy, peppery glory.
Add cubed Parmesan cheese to the bottom of serving bowls. Transfer portions of pasta to each bowl, top with a sprinkle more cheese, cracked pepper, and some flaky salt if you have it.
For the Lemon Roasted Broccolini: Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the broccolini, lemon slices and smashed garlic onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat everything.
Roast for 12 to 16 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the broccolini is bright green and crisp tender–the ends will begin to char as well as the lemon slices.
Remove from the oven, serve all together on a platter.
Love the creamy goodness of traditional Cacio e Pepe, but want to lighten up the calories? Try this healthier spin on the famous cheese and pepper dish from WW. We add a tangy side of lemon roasted broccolini to keep you full and nourished while enjoy this classic comfort food.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
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