Cacio e Pepi with Cauliflower

This recipe is an adaptation of the classic Roman dish Cacio e Pepi, where long strands of pasta are tossed with a simple sauce of black pepper and Pecorino Romano. The sauce in this version is thicker and creamier with lots of puréed cauliflower, but it is just as captivating.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 20 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 12 oz. bucatini pasta
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3⁄4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese, divided


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the bucatini pasta and cook according the package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  • While the pasta is cooking, combine the cauliflower, butter, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a small hole in the top. Microwave on high for 6 minutes until very tender.
  • Transfer cauliflower to a blender or food processor along with pepper and 1⁄2 cup cheese. Blend until combined. With the blender running, add 1 cup of the pasta cooking water to the mixture. Continue to blend until mixture is smooth.
  • Toss the pasta with the sauce and top with remaining cheese. Serve immediately.