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  • Writer's pictureGreens and Beans

Cacio e pepe

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

This dish, according to our Milanese resident, was popularised in Italy during the second world-war because of widespread food shortages. Traditionally, it contains only three ingredients (Pecorino Romano cheese, spaghetti and pepper), no wonder it's so popular amongst students.

By switching out the Pecorino Romano for nutritional yeast (an excellent source of B12 for the plant-based boys and girls) and adding a few veggies, we've given this classic dish a fresh plant-based makeover.

Food engineer: Alessandro Rognoni.

We've subbed in nutritional yeast (a cheaper plant-based alternative) and added some veggies (because, luckily, there isn't a food shortage in the UK currently #nodealBrexit)

*Feeds two. Shopping bag to table in 30 mins. Very cheap*


· 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (can be food in any good health food store or online).

· 120g of spaghetti (enough for two people essentially).

· Black pepper.

· Salt.

· Handful of mushrooms and asparagus. (Optional. Keep it simple or spice it up).


1) Boil the spaghetti in plenty of salted water.

2) In a frying pan, cook up some chopped asparagus. 5 mins in add some chopped mushrooms. When golden, take off heat.

3) When the pasta is 90% cooked, take off the heat and drain. Be sure to save one cup's worth of the starchy-water (or two ladles), you'll need it for the next step!

4) Put the drained pasta into a saucepan on high-heat, add the cup of starchy-water, and four tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Mix thoroughly so yeast melts into pasta.

5) Add veggies and stir, stir, stir.

6) Finally and most importantly, season with black pepper.

Top-tip: You can make this dish 'cheesier' by adding more nutritional yeast, and creamier by saving and adding more starchy-water. And visa-versa.

Level-it up with a chilled Italian wine.


The Milanese man himself.

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