Cacio e Pepe

The last week has been beyond busy! As the financial year is coming to an end, companies all over the country are revisiting their marketing spends. This means that while some clients leave, a lot more are questioning what we can do for them. This inquisition has led to an influx of strategic planning, content writing, campaign ideating, and powerpoint making! Now, to be honest, my work doesn’t tire me (mostly because college was far too rigorous and I’m so used to just staring at a screen for eternity) but I just have had no time to do anything else. Hence the lethargy to write and be vulnerable. 

The one aspect of my life that I have been a lot more explorative with, has been meeting people. I have been making a lot more time to actually socialize as an exercize to increase my own social capital and hopefully, have a small but succinct group of people that I can meet when I have to try out a new restaurant, get tipsy before a play with, or call during my commute to prevent me from falling asleep on the wheel. The one way I used to love to spend time with people, was to cook with and / or with them. However, I live far enough from Delhi and its suburb, Gurgaon, that most people convince me to come to them. I really do want to get back to doing that though. I loved making meals for friends. Like, a lot. My favorite patrons were of two kinds: 1. People who loved to help in the cooking process because they knew how to cook and would actually help or 2. People who waited for the food to be done and loved anything I made, followed by doing the dishes. Morgan, Yen Anh, and Ben were my favorite patrons. Morgan sat and ate whatever, Yen Anh helped ideate and would be heavily involved in the lighting and ambience of the whole dish. Ben, however was my favorite. He would be super helpful through the process: showering me with accolades, taking snaps, eating his body weight in food, and then thoroughly cleaning my very dirty kitchen. One of my favorite meals to cook was Thai green curry, which I'd made for Morgan and him at his 60 acre house in the middle of nowhere Ohio. I brought all the ingredients with me including my plating bowls in a carbdboard box. The meal was supplemented with Summer Shandy and concluded with kayaking around his manmade pond. Even writing this makes me miss springtime in Ohio. So much of whatever free time we had, was spent outside with a group of people who were as busy as me, which was kind of perfect— they were there only when you needed them and I would go back in a heartbeat ❤️ 

Me cooking pesto pasta with shrimp for my gang at Yen Anh's house

Me cooking pesto pasta with shrimp for my gang at Yen Anh's house

Ben and I kayaking (Guess which one is me lol) 

Ben and I kayaking (Guess which one is me lol) 

I have been thinking of more recipes that are simple to make at someone else’s house. Pasta is always a crowd pleaser and a simple sauce can just do the trick. While an Aglio e Oglio would be my go to, it's still seven ingredients and most people don't have the right knives to cook garlic quick enough. This led me to Cacio e Pepe. A fancy name for something that is too simple to even be considered a meal. Simply put, its toasted fresh black pepper and parmesan cheese. Yup, a fancy name for something you would make accidentally or eat in a hurry as you head out for your next class. While making this dish, I was convinced that it would taste bland but the lesser the ingredients, the more each element shines. You really get the taste of the olive oil, the salty cheese and the sharp uneven hit of spice. All in all, the next dish I’ll be making if someone invites to their home! 😬

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A handful (250 grams) of spaghetti or pasta of your choice 

1 Tablespoon Freshly ground pepper

1 Cup of Parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


Step 1

In a large pot, add water and a heavy pinch of salt. Cook pasta following the cooking instructions. Drain the pasta and hold on to some of the water. This will the base of your pasta sauce.

Step 2

In a medium sized skillet on medium high heat, add olive oil and add the black pepper in the cold oil. This will help infuse the flavors better. Once the oil comes to temperature and you can smell the pepper, add the pasta and mix well.

Step 3

Add the cheese and some of the pasta well and slowly mix everything. Add more water, if needed.