Ever since going to Rome last year, I’ve been obsessed with an Italian pasta dish called cacio e pepe (translated to cheese and pepper). It’s a seemingly easy dish, but is actually quite difficult to master. I decided to leave the true cacio e pepe for any future Rome trips (possibly some wishful thinking); however, I used a cacio e pepe recipe from Bon Appetit and adjusted a bit using quinoa instead of pasta. It’s quite a delicious cheesy quinoa dish with a bit of a kick and very quick and easy to make!
Caution: The quinoa adds nutrients to the dish, but this is not a low calorie recipe. You may choose to skip the butter but it will take away the essence of the flavor.
- sea salt
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
- 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino
- Place 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water in a large saucepan. Add a bit of salt and cook until the water begins to boil. Reduce to low heat and continue to cook until there is just a bit of water left with the quinoa. Remove the quinoa from heat and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add the cracked pepper over medium heat. Swirl until the pepper is slightly toasted.
- Add the quinoa (including the water) to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low heat and add the cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted. Transfer to a place and serve.