Literally meaning, “cheese and pepper”, this is a minimalist cacio e pepe version with the added benefits of Kalamata olives. Enjoy this classic Roman dish in a flash
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated vegan cheese
A generous pinch of sea salt
200g of gluten free pasta (such as bucatini, or spaghetti)
2 tablespoons of unsalted dairy free butter
6-8 Kalamata olives
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 spring onions, green part only, sliced finely
The zest of a lemon
In a large pot, bring you water to a boil. Season with your salt; add your chosen pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water – this is really important, save your pasta water!
Meanwhile, heat your olive oil in a large heavy skillet over a medium heat. Add your cracked black pepper and cook, swirl your pan until toasted, this will take less than 1 minute.
Finally, add your 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water to your skillet and bring to a simmer. Add your pasta and butter, reduce the heat to low. Now add your cheese, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted and the sauce coats the pasta and your pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if the sauce seems dry at this stage).
Garnish with your Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, lemon zest and spring onion slices.