A classic with a twist! This One Pot Ramen Cacio e Pepe is made with just five ingredients – pasta, butter, black pepper, pecorino, and parmesan – and one pan! Spaghetti is subbed out for chewy ramen noodles making this easy dish come together in 15 minutes or less.
I have developed SO many easy, one-pot pasta recipes, but some of my favorites are this One Pot Healthier Spaghetti and Meatballs, this One Pot Short Rib Bolognese, and this One Pot Creamy Spinach Orzo – don’t miss out!
One Pot Ramen Cacio e Pepe
I hate when I order the wrong thing at restaurants. No really, HATE it. When it does happen, I find myself longing looking over at the things I should have ordered, and then proceed to wallow in my pity for the remainder of the evening. It’s not great for my dinner companions, because who wants to be stared at while they eat and hear incessant talk about how their dinner looks SO much better than mine?
It’s hard being addicted to food.
Luckily, Kevin gets the brunt of this behavior. Recently I was put in the situation where one of my friends did indeed order better than me. Her pick was a phenomenal order of Ramen Cacio e Pepe, while I was left with an undercooked portion of chilean seabass that wasn’t even close to living up to its $55 price tag. When she offered me a bite of her visually stunning bowl of pasta, I politely took one teeny tiny bite, and declined another, even though I wanted to eat the entire bowl.
Alienating your husband while eating out is one thing, doing it to one of your friends is a line I try not to cross. I vowed then and there I’d recreate the dish at home, so I could inhale the entire portion myself, no guilt, no alienation.
A classic, made even easier.
Cacio e Pepe, when made classically is one of those super simple pasta dishes that takes virtually no effort to throw together. With only a handful of ingredients – pasta, butter, cheese, and black pepper – it’s also something you can make when your fridge is borderline bare.
My version takes even less effort (if you can believe it), by using just one pot, and ramen noodles from the package, which cook almost instantaneously.
The key to any good cacio e pepe, is in the starch. To create a smooth, luxurious sauce, you need liquid, and here we use the starchy liquid the noodles are cooked in. When you only use just enough water to cook the pasta, all of that starch is condensed into a small space, which makes the perfect consistency for the sauce.
How to make Cacio e Pepe
- Add water and noodles to a shallow saucepan. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a boil. After the water boils for 1-2 minutes, flip the noodles over. Cook another 1-2 minutes. When the noodles are pliable, use your fork to separate them. Continue to boil until noodles are soft. You should have about 1/4 cup of water left. If you don’t, add enough to equal about that.
- Add butter and black pepper. Toss to combine.
- Remove the noodles from the heat, and slowly add cheese in while tossing the noodles with tongs. Continue to toss until cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt.
- Garnish with cheese and more black pepper if desired.
Do I have to use packaged ramen noodles?
Yes. Everything from the amount of water and butter, relies heavily on the fast-cooking nature of package ramen noodles.
Do I have to use unsalted butter?
No. I’ve used salted, and don’t have to season as much at the end. Totally a personal preference.
Can I substitute the cheeses?
I wouldn’t. I really love the combination of the pecorino Romano and parmesan.
Do I have to use grated cheese?
I find that grated cheese melts easier and faster.
Tips and Tricks for recipe Success
- To keep the sauce from clumping, make sure you have enough liquid. If after the pasta is cooked, there’s only a little bit of liquid (say 1-2 tablespoons) left, add a few tablespoons more until.
- Add the cheese a little bit at a time, and then toss. Again, if it ever looks like the liquid is getting low, add water a tablespoon at a time.
- Make sure to season your water with a little bit of salt!
What to serve with One Pot Ramen Cacio e Pepe?
- Sparkling Rose Sangria
- Brown Butter Roasted Mushrooms
- Chopped Tuscan Salad (Made from the Salad Bar!)
- 1 package ramen noodles (just the noodles)
- 1 1/4 cup water (plus more if necessary)
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3/4 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
- 3/4 cup grated pecorino romano
- 2 tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Add ramen noodles, water, and a pinch of salt to a shallow saucepan. Turn the heat on medium-high and bring to a boil. Let the noodles boil for a minute, and then use a fork or tongs to gently flip the noodles over. Do this 1-2 more times until the noodles are pliable. Use your fork or tongs to separate the noodles and continue to cook until noodles are soft and the liquid has reduced.
- Once liquid has been reduced, add butter and black pepper. IF there isn't about 1/4 cup of pasta water, add enough water to equal that and boil for 30 seconds or so to release a little bit more starch. Toss to combine. Remove from heat. While tossing again, SLOWLY sprinkle in the cheese. Continue to toss until cheese has melted. Season with salt. If the pasta sauce needs to be loosened up, add a few tablespoons of warm water.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433 Total Fat: 28g Saturated Fat: 16g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 66mg Sodium: 1344mg Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Protein: 16g