KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chef Jasper tells us that the first time he enjoyed this Cacio e Pepe was with Lisa and Alex at Roma Spirita in Rome, Italy. The restaurant is kind of a secret to Romans, even Anthony Bourdain would not disclose where he was eating when filming No Reservations!

Cacio e Pepe alla Roma Sparita

  • 1/2 lb Spaghetti, cooked al’dente
  • 1 1/2 cups Romano
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 T. salted butter
  • cracked black pepper
  • xv olive oil
  1. In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add butter.
  2. Add water and cheese.
  3. Cream together to form a sauce.
  4. Add cracked pepper.
  5. Add pasta and toss until evenly coated.
  6. Add more water and cheese if necessary.
  7. Serve with more cracked pepper and a drizzle of xv olive oil.

Jasper’s Notes: Cacio e Pepe, literally translated is “cheese and pepper”. Just a little bit of water, cheese and pepper and you have dinner. This famous dish is one of the four Kings of Roman Pasta which include Carbonara, Amatriciana and alla Grecia.  

If you add a little bit of sauteed guanciale (cheek bacon), you have Pasta alla Gricia. Another great Roman dish. 

Jasper prepares a cheese tuille out of grated Romano and place pasta in this when serving by spreading cheese in a non stick 6 inch pan, cooking for 4-5 minutes, sliding a spatula under and turning over on a bowl to harden.

Spaghetti & Tuscan Pork Ragu

  • 1 lb Ground pork
  • 28 oz. San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Onion, (Minced)
  • 1/2 cup Carrot, (Minced)
  • 1 Celery Stalk, (Minced)
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine
  • 1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Sprig Fresh Herb Gathering Rosemary (Leaves Only)
  • Salt & Red Pepper Flakes To Taste
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  1. Place carrot, onion and celery in a large skillet on medium heat and sauté in extra virgin olive oil until it starts to almost burn.
  2. Add the pork, raise the heat, and stir until browned. Splash with wine and let evaporate.
  3. Add the tomatoes. Salt to taste. Lower the heat and let cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and serve with sauce.

To learn more about Chef Jasper, you can check out Jasper’s Ristorante and Marco Polo’s Italian Market at 1200, W. 103rd St. in Kansas City, Mo. Or check their website out at JaspersKC.com.