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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Cacio e Pepe Risotto | Authentic Italian Recipe

Most Italian food fanatics are familiar with the famous pasta dish "cacio e pepe," but few have ever thought to make the risotto version! If you're a fan of formaggio, then this is the risotto for you. It's also a great way to use up leftover cheese rind!

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

Serves 2

For this recipe, you will need:

- 2-3 large chunks of pecorino and/or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind

- 1 tbsp whole black pepper kernels

- 1/2 white onion

- Salt

- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- 1/4 cup (60ml) white wine

- 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter

- ~1/4 cup (30g) grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for topping

- Fresh black pepper

Clean the cheese rinds by scraping the out surface with a sharp knife. Add these, the pepper kernels, and 1/4 white onion (in a whole piece) into a medium saucepan. Fill with water, bring it to a gentle simmer and cook for 45 minutes before proceeding. Salt it to taste—this is where the seasoning for the risotto comes from! Keep the broth simmering as you cook the rice.

Dice the rest of the onion and add this, along with the olive oil, into another saucepan over medium/high heat. Sauté until the onion is tender and slightly transparent.

Meanwhile, toast the rice in a small, separate pot over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir or toss them almost constantly to avoid burning.

Add the rice into the onion and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine, bring to a simmer, and let it cook until the liquid is absorbed by the rice.

Spoon just enough of the cheese rind broth into the rice to keep it slightly submerged. Continue to cook the risotto until the rice is al dente to your taste, about 16-18 minutes depending on the kind of rice. As the risotto cooks, continue to add a little bit of broth when needed to maintain the liquid in the pot.

You don't need to stir it constantly, but do keep an eye on it and stir frequently!

When the rice is cooked to your liking, turn off the heat and stir in the butter and grated cheese. Cover the pot and let it rest for 3 minutes. Serve, topped with extra cheese and a sprinkle of ground pepper.

Buon appetito!

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Sandra Wynne
Sandra Wynne
Sep 03, 2023

This was absolutely delicious! I will make this again and again! Ava…, please keep posting your fabulous recipes. I have also tried the spicy calabrian pork ribs…, they are a show stopper! Molto Bene


Adam Stryker
Adam Stryker
Aug 26, 2023

My pantry has about 3/4 of what you mentioned. I'm proud that I even get that close to what Eva stocks in her pantry and frigorífico!

We have some great stores in the DC area that carry quality Italian products. I pay a little extra to buy Mutti, Cento, DeCecco, or other brands I grew up with like DeLallo. The quality makes the difference!

Glad to hear that you're not a big fan of Galbani (no flavor, very rubbery...)

I love you guys! Keep up the superb generosity!


Karen Guancione
Karen Guancione
Jan 10, 2022

My pantry includes every single thing you have (including baccala) except for lard due to not being a carnivore. Two more items I can’t live without are farina di ceci and chestnut flour. Siete bravissimi!

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