Literally meaning 'cheese and pepper,' cacio e pepe takes mac and cheese to a whole new level! This ramen version is cheap, easy, and sinfully decadent-- the perfect gourmet dorm food. Inspired by Chef David Chang's Mind of a Chef version, I decided to make my own adaptation using my favorite cacio e pepe recipe from epicurious.com, which uses two different kinds of cheese. It took a bit of trial and error, but the result is incredible.
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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
1 cup of water
3 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Package of instant ramen noodles (I'm using one of my favorite Korean brands. Make sure to keep packets for later use)
3/4 cup of grated parmesan (Don't use the powdered Kraft parmesan! Fresh parmesan is waay better, trust me!)
1/3 cup of grated pecorino cheese
Step 2: Start Sauce
Melt the butter over medium heat until slightly browned and toasted. Watch it carefully! It should smell awesome by now. Then, add the water and a few grinds of freshly grated black pepper and turn the heat down to low.
Step 3: Add Cheese
Add the pecorino and parmesan cheese in handfuls and stir until melted and thoroughly combined.
Make sure the butter mixture isn't too hot! Wait a bit if the mixture still is bubbling or looks hot, because the cheese protiens will break at a high temperature and will clump into a rubbery mess.
Step 4: Add the Ramen Noodles
Put the ramen noodles in the pan and stir to break up the noodles and coat them. The noodles will begin to cook and will loosen.
Step 5: Enjoy!
After a few minutes, the noodles will be completely separated and will suck in the liquid instead of floating in the liquid. Serve, adding cheese and pepper to taste. I put an over-easy egg on the top, and it looks gorgeous!
My sources were Mind of a Chef, Epicurious.com, and pepper.ph