Cacio e Pepe Risotto

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I think it's safe to say we all LOVE Cacio e Pepe! So naturally I went down a deep dark rabbit hole of Cacio e Pepe EVERYTHING and this Cacio e Pepe Risotto was born!

Cacio e Pepe Risotto from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)


 

Why I Love This Recipe

I've said it before but it bears repeating - risotto is not as hard as people make it seem. It's actually quite easy - just requires a little bit of stirring. This Cacio e Pepe risotto is loaded with 3 kinds of cheese, plenty of pepper and it's actually my definition of perfection. Serve as is or add some extra "oomph" by serving alongside my epic Garlic Butter Steak Bites. Chef's kiss!

Also if you are looking for a fun twist on this epic recipe you should check out my Creamy Lemon Cacio e Pepe. Its Pasta a limone meets cacio e pepe and its delicious.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Olive oil
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Arborio Rice
  • Dry white wine (anything but an oaky chardonnay)
  • Chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Pecorino Cheese
  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Kosher salt and tons of freshly cracked black pepper
  • Lemon to serve

How to Make

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the Arborio rice to the skillet, making sure to stir it around in the olive oil so that each granule is coated with it, and toast it for about 90 seconds
  • Add the white wine and stir the rice until all the wine has been absorbed and then start adding the chicken stock ½ cup at a time, making sure not to add more until the previous addition has been absorbed
  • Once the rice in this Cacio e Pepe Risotto is just tender, add most of the Parmesan and Pecorino (leaving some for garnish) and all of the mascarpone cheese and combine. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges on the side
Cacio e Pepe Risotto from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Tips & Tricks

  • Cacio e Pepe Risotto all starts with Arborio rice! I like to toast my rice in some olive oil with the shallots for optimum flavor.
  • Wine is an important part of making Cacio e Pepe Risotto as it gives you tons of flavor but the actual alcohol cooks off. So if you're making this dish for kids, not to worry! And if you want to skip the wine, you can go straight into the chicken stock. Just add about ½ cup more than what my recipe calls for.
  • Time is the thing everyone panics about when making risotto - but really it's only 25ish minutes and an occasional stir. You can easily multi-task. You'll just want to add stock every few minutes and cook the rice over medium-low heat so it slowly absorbs the liquid.
  • The final step to making Cacio e Pepe Risotto is adding in some extra flavor. In this specific recipe that comes in the form of pecorino cheese and tons of black pepper - two must haves for anything cacio e pepe flavored! A match made in heaven.

FAQ's

What is the best rice for risotto?

Arborio rice.

What does cacio e pepe mean in Italian?

It simply means, cheese and pepper.

How is cacio e pepe different from alfredo?

Cacio e pepe is a Roman dish made with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper, while Alfredo is a creamy Italian pasta sauce made with butter, Parmesan cheese, and sometimes cream.

Can I make Cacio e Pepe Risotto with quinoa or farro?

You COULD do it with farro and quinoa, same process. Just slightly different texture at the end.

What can I use to replace mascarpone cheese?

Cream Cheese! Or a splash of heavy cream!

Similar Recipes

Cacio e Pepe Risotto

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 21 votes
We all love the flavors of a traditional Cacio e Pepe but today it's going into a risotto and honestly, I've never been more excited
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine (anything but an oaky chardonnay)
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • cup Pecorino Cheese
  • ¼ cup Mascarpone cheese
  • kosher salt and tons of freshly cracked black pepper
  • lemon to serve

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the Arborio rice to the skillet, making sure to stir it around in the olive oil so that each granule is coated with it, and toast it for about 90 seconds
  • Add the white wine and stir the rice until all the wine has been absorbed and then start adding the chicken stock ½ cup at a time, making sure not to add more until the previous addition has been absorbed
  • Once the rice is just tender, add most of the Parmesan and Pecorino (leaving some for garnish) and all of the mascarpone cheese and combine. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges on the side

Notes

  • Do you really need to heat the stock before adding? No, I don’t! It’s technically the way we learned in culinary school – but not the end of the world!
  • Can you make this with any rice? I prefer arborio rice for risotto!
  • Can I make risotto with quinoa or farro? You COULD do it with farro and quinoa, same process. Just slightly different texture at the end.
  • What do I do without mascarpone cheese? Cream Cheese! Or a splash of heavy cream!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 527mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 275mg | Iron: 3mg
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20 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious! It only took about 20 minutes, and is so creamy! I needed about 4.5 cups of broth to get my rice all the way to al dente, but I’m sending this recipe to everyone I know! Thank you for this fantastic idea!!

  2. 5 stars
    Fam loved it! Perfect balance of creaminess! I had to add an additional 1/2 cup of broth for it to be just right. Pepper and lemon balanced it all out. Delish!

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