What is Cacio e Pepe?
Cacio e pepe is one of the most iconic classical Italian dishes. The beauty of the dish is in its simplicity – it is made with just tonnarelli (or spaghetti), black pepper, and Pecorino Romano cheese. While they might not sound like much, these three ingredients work together to create a heavenly combination of flavor and texture.
Despite the beauty of a simple cacio e pepe, sometimes the situation calls for something a little more complex. Enter the ravioli version. These dishes keep the flavor profile of cacio e pepe but add a little flare and provide some more textural contrast.
Here are some of the best cacio e pepe ravioli recipes to try!
1. Romani Cacio e Pepe Ravioli
If you’ve ever wanted to make ravioli by hand, this dish is an excellent starting point. The dough is simple but requires a bit of work. However, the extra effort will all be worth it in the end.
The sauce takes the classic Pecorino Romano base and adds parmesan, ricotta, and nutmeg for added complexity. This creates a sauce that is thicker and more satiating than a traditional cacio e pepe. A garnish of fresh baby basil at the end brings everything together to create a well-balanced dish that will still remind you of the original.
Get the full recipe and directions from Delicious.
2. Cacio e Pepe Asparagus Ravioli
This dish gives a nod to the simplicity of traditional cacio e pepe, with the only real additions being asparagus, butter, and lemon zest. It uses Parmigiano Reggiano in place of Pecorino Romano, but if you prefer the nuttier flavor of Pecorino, it will still work perfectly here. The asparagus brings both sweetness and bitterness to the meal and works well with the mouthfeel of the cheese ravioli.
Although the dish calls for cheese ravioli, you could opt for something like butternut squash or mushroom-filled versions. However, stay with lighter, less pungent varieties to prevent overpowering the simple ingredients that make this dish so great.
Get the full recipe and directions from Sarcastic Cooking.
3. Cacio e Pepe Tortellini
Tortellini is similar to ravioli, but the noodles are smaller and folded into a ring shape, giving them a slightly different texture and sauce distribution. This tortellini version uses the same base as the traditional recipe but bulks the dish up with additions like broccoli, baby spinach, cauliflower, and sour cream.
The sauce is thicker and more complex, making this a rather hearty meal despite the lack of protein. With shallots and garlic used in the dish, you know there will be some delightful aromas during cooking. Those aromas translate to some big-time flavors when it comes time to serve the dish.
Get the full recipe and directions from Hello Fresh.
4. Air Fried Cacio e Pepe Ravioli
Fried ravioli is a modern twist on classic pasta, and the crispy exterior provides a great contrast to the chewy inside. With the rising popularity of air fryers, it’s no surprise that air-fried versions of this tasty treat have been making the rounds lately. This creates a fried ravioli that is healthier, although not quite as indulgent, like pan-frying or deep frying.
The air-fried ravioli sticks with most of the basic cacio e pepe structure, using Parmigiano Reggiano in addition to the traditional Pecorino Romano cheese, which works wonderfully. It diverges from tradition by using egg and breadcrumbs to create a coating that crisps up quite nicely in the air fryer. This makes for a truly unique dish that combines classic and modern flavors in a big way.
Get the full recipe and directions from My Recipes.
5. Lemon Cacio e Pepe Ravioli
Lemon and pepper are two flavors that are combined frequently because they work so well together. With pepper being one of the main components of cacio e pepe, it’s only natural that someone would create a version with a lemon theme.
This specific recipe calls for Trader Joe’s pre-made ravioli, but you could always make your own pasta or use dried pasta and make your own sauce. You’ll want to make sure that you get plenty of lemon juice in with your olive oil because it really helps to freshen up the dish. This is a nice, lighter pasta that won’t weigh you down, making it an excellent appetizer or side dish.
Get the full recipe and directions from Pat Cooks.
This completes our favorite cacio e pepe ravioli recipes to try. Do you think you’ll stick with the traditional recipes? Or do you think you’ll try a ravioli version?
If you like this post, we think you’ll love our Bucatini Cacio e Pepe post.