Lunchbreak: Cacio e Pepe

Midday News

Chef Shelley Young – The Chopping Block’s Owner

Link to virtual Pride cooking  class with option to donate to LGBTQ IL Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, June 30 at 6pm CST with Chef Shelley Young:

  • Menu is Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich) with Lemongrass Chicken.

Link to all virtual classes by The Chopping Block:


Cacio e Pepe (Pasta with Pecorino Romano, Cracked Black Pepper and Toasted Olive Oil Breadcrumbs)

Yield: 4-6 servings

Active time: 20 minutes

Start to finish: 20 minutes


1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

12 ounces dried spaghetti or 12 ounces fresh pasta (use beet, tomato or spinach fettucine for colored ribbons)

1/2 pound of asparagus, shaved with a vegetable peeler and blanched

2 carrots, shaved with a vegetable peeler and blanched

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, divided 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated

1/4 cup romano cheese, finely grated


1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and olive oil. Spread out on a sheet tray, and bake until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Boil the pasta until it’s about two minutes from being perfectly al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

4. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Once melted, add the olive oil and black pepper and cook, swirling the pan, for about 1 minute. Set aside.

5. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the sauté pan, and return to medium heat. Add the pasta, asparagus and carrots and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

6. Reduce the heat to low and add the parmesan, stirring and tossing until melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the romano, stirring again until the cheese melts and the sauce coats the pasta.

7. Add a splash more pasta water if the sauce seems too dry.

8. Transfer the pasta to warm bowls, top with a fresh grinding of pepper, and garnish with a sprinkling of the breadcrumbs.


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