Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper, and most of you already know that’s all it takes to make the creamiest sauce you’ve ever tasted. But here, I’ve defied tradition a by mixing this decadent cream with… gnocchi! This dish is inspired by Sam the Cooking Guy’s video – I watched it and couldn’t resist. In my version, we’ll be making everything from scratch to keep Nonna happy.
Just imagine this: Homemade ricotta gnocchi served smothered in a rich, creamy (see: CHEESE) sauce… I’m taking you to Italy with every bite, are you ready?
½ kilo/17.6oz fresh ricotta cheese
300g/10.5oz 00 flour
1 free-range egg
200g/7oz pecorino Romano cheese + 3 tablespoons pecorino (for gnocchi dough)
1 large baking tray
1 large bowl
1 sharp knife (to cut gnocchi dough)
1 large frypan
1 large pot (for cooking gnocchi)
Rubber spatula (to scrape ricotta mixture into pan)
- Gnocchi cacio e pepe is literally irresistible – let’s start with the gnocchi. First, prep a baking tray or two by lining them with a sheet of baking paper.
- Add the fresh ricotta cheese to a bowl, breaking down the large chunks with a fork; this will make it easier to mix.
- Next, add 3 tablespoons of pecorino Romano cheese to the ricotta and mix well.
- Add half of the 00 flour to the mixture and combine before adding the egg to the dry ingredients and mixing these through too.
- Now add the remaining flour and knead the dough in the bowl.
- Once the dough has started to form, move it to your counter/wooden board and knead it on this directly.
Vincenzo’s Plate Tip: It’s important to avoid overmixing the gnocchi dough. Otherwise, you’ll have chewy gnocchi cacio e pepe so keep an eye on the textre.
- When the dough has combined, form it into a large ball, cover it with your mixing bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes on the counter.
- At this point, add 5L water to a large pot and place it on your stove to boil.
- Once the dough has rested, sprinkle flour on both sides of the dough, then stretch it with a rolling pin until it is about half an inch thick.
- Cut the dough into 1-inch-thick strips using a sharp knife, then sprinkle more flour onto them.
- Lightly flour your surface then roll the strips into “snakes” starting at the middle and moving your hands outward, so the roll is more even in thickness.
- Use a dough cutter (or sharp knife) to create little pillows for your cacio e pepe gnocchi, making sure to dust them with flour so they don’t stick together. In between cutting the dough, flour the counter.
Vincenzo’s Plate Tip: Let each batch of cut gnocchi rest on the baking sheet while cutting the rest.
- Put a frypan on the stove at medium-low heat and add as much fresh ground black pepper as you like to the pan leaving it to toast.
- Next add 200g of pecorino into a mixing bowl along with some extra pepper.
- While toasting the black pepper, your water should now be boiling so add as many gnocchi as you like into the pot, cooking them until they float to the top.
Vincenzo’s Plate Tip: If you don’t want to use all your gnocchi, you can freeze them (uncooked) for use in recipes later. Freeze them directly on the trays, then once frozen transfer to air-tight containers or zip lock bags.
- Now, don’t forget to save a mug of pasta water for the sauce! Scoop it up and put it to the side.
- Add 3 tablespoons of water into the bowl of pecorino and mix using a spatula, then add another 3 tablespoons and continue mixing.
- Add the rest of the cooking water to the pan with toasted black pepper, then add your cooked gnocchi using a slotted spoon or hand sieve.
- Gently stir the gnocchi in the pan and wait until most of the water evaporates; this step is important for making the cacio e pepe sauce – just make sure you keep the heat medium to low.
- Remove the large pan from the heat and using a spatula add the pecorino mixture to the pan. Mix well (but gently) while the pan is still hot until a creamy sauce covers the gnocchi.
How to Serve:
Now, it’s time for the second-best part – serving the mouthwatering gnocchi cacio e pepe. Add the gnocchi and sauce by the spoonful onto your plate, and you’re ready to eat (or enjoy it right out of the pan if you can’t wait)! Obviously THIS is the best part!
Of course, you can add freshly grated parmesan cheese on top…though this dish is probably already cheesy enough for most.
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
Here are 2 more GNOCCHI RECIPES you must try:
Join my private exclusive Italian Tours “Italy Unexplored Tour” and experience the Real Italy like you have never seen before.
The tour is exclusive to only 10 passionate foodies and it’s very unique. (Click here to get more details)
Tempted? Watch the video below and enjoy the sightseeing of the greenest region in Europe
Subscribe to my Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/vincenzosplate