Let me introduce you to your new best friend Creamy Lemon Cacio e Pepe. It’s Pasta a Limone meets Cacio e Pepe and OMG IT IS TRULY EVERYTHING.
I don’t know the next time we’ll be in Italy so obviously I’m just re-imagining all my favorite dishes so I can eat them at home! We all know I’m obsessed with Cacio e Pepe – but this creamy lemon version is truly next level. Imagine the creamy Pasta a Limone that you’ve maybe had at an Italian restaurant before… but with ALL THE PEPPER AND CHEESE. Omg it’s truly a marriage of recipes that I can get behind. This recipe needs to happen in your kitchen STAT.
One thing to note: if you’re making this with store-bought pre-shredded cheese, there’s a chance it wont incorporate as nicely than if you shred/grate it yourself. So go ahead and take the extra 2 minutes to grate yourself. I promise it’s worth it!
And if you’re on the hunt for some more Italian inspired recipes to recreate at home… we’ve got you covered!
- Aperol Spritz – I miss sitting on a piazza and drinking a few of these before dinner while on vacation!
- Pasta alla Vodka – one of my favorite creamy pasta dishes of ALL times.
- Pasta Pomodoro – this with a carafe of house wine in Italy… can’t be beat!
- Classic Tiramisu – the best Tiramisu you’ll ever make!
- And here is an entire Italian Dinner Party Menu!
Creamy Lemon Cacio e Pepe
- 2 lemons
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated black pepper
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove two 2"-long strips of lemon zest. Thinly slice each strip lengthwise into thin strands; set aside for serving. Finely grate remaining zest into a large pot (like a Dutch oven). Cut the lemons in half and juice (you need about 2-3 tablespoons) into a small bowl and set aside.
- Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until very al dente (pasta will finish cooking in the sauce).
- Meanwhile, add cream to large skillet with lemon zest and cook over medium heat until simmering, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add in butter while stirring until the.sauce is creamy and emulsified. Turn off heat if you're not ready for the next step.
- Just before pasta is al dente, scoop out 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid and add the pasta cooking liquid to cream sauce and return to medium heat. Drain the pasta and transfer to the skillet with the sauce sauce. Cook, tossing often and adding grated cheese little by little, until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy. Stir in the reserved lemon juice and season with salt as needed and the freshly cracked black pepper.
- Divide pasta among bowls and top with reserved lemon zest strips and extra pepper and grated parmesan if desired.