Cacio e Pepe Pizza
Topped with just olive oil, pecorino cheese, salt and pepper, and cream, Cacio e Pepe pizza is surprisingly satisfying. Pair it with red wine and arugula salad for a simple yet sophisticated meal.
Makes: 1 (12- to 14-inch) pizza
- 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.