Topped with just olive oil, pecorino cheese, salt and pepper, and cream, Cacio e Pepe pizza is surprisingly satisfying and packed with flavor. Pair it with red wine and arugula salad for a simple yet sophisticated meal.
Cacio e Pepe, a classic Italian pasta recipe, is a natural for pizzification: nothing but high-quality cheese, some olive oil, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. To meld the flavors and soften the texture a bit, I drizzled on some heavy cream both before and after baking. Perfetto!
Looking for more pizzafied classics? Once you master Cacio e Pepe pizza, here are a few others to try:
- Butternut Squash Chili Pizza
- Philly Cheesesteak Pizza
- Pizza alla Puttanesca
- Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Pizza
- Loaded Taco Pizza with all the Fixings
- Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Pizzas
Cacio e Pepe Pizza
- Rolling pin (optional)
- pastry brush
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- High-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- ¼ to ⅓ cup heavy cream, divided
- 1 pinch kosher salt or flaked sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes. Then, if you’re using a baking stone or steel, switch the oven to Broil on high.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Brush the dough lightly with oil, making sure to get all the way to the edges. In a medium bowl, toss together the cheese and black pepper, then dump the mixture onto the oiled dough and spread it out evenly, leaving a 1-inch border of dough. Drizzle with half of the cream.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, drizzle on the remaining cream, sprinkle with the salt, and finish with a grind or two of black pepper. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.