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:
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
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup (180g) carnaroli or arborio rice
- 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.