BACON ARUGULA CACIO E PEPE
the temperature has officially dropped below 50º, which means CARBS, party people!!! this decadent pasta dish by twitter queen chrissy teigen has been a mainstay in our house since she dropped her first cookbook, cravings. i was feeling a bit nostalgic for it when she released her second book, cravings: hungry for more, last month.
this twist on cacio e pepe (literally cheese and pepper in italian) has everything — plenty of pasta, lots of cheese, BACON, bright + flavorful arugula, zesty lemon, and a nice bit of spice from both red chili flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
keep these hot tips in mind when you’re preparing this insanely good dinner — a very large skillet (we use our cast-iron) will allow for plenty of room for tossing all the pasta together, save a bit of your pasta water for the end of the recipe, and don’t be afraid of bacon grease. it all works together for a VERY flavorful, VERY non-diet-friendly tastebud extravaganza!
flaky sea salt
12 oz spaghetti
1/4 lb bacon, chopped (you could also use pancetta!)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp or 4 big cloves minced garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes (more to taste)
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (more to taste)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (or, if you’re lazy like us, shredded italian blend)
3 cups arugula
1. in a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti to al dente. reserve one cup of the pasta water, then drain the rest.
2. meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp (7-9 min). add the olive oil, then add garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and cook until fragrant — we’re talking one minute here.
3. add lemon juice to the skillet, then pour in the drained pasta and toss with the bacon and spices to coat. add the cheese and toss, adding in pasta water at the same time to help it coat all of the pasta. add the arugula and toss until wilted.
4. serve with more cheese and pepper to taste. enjoy!
recipe adapted from chrissy teigen’s cookbook cravings (2016).