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One Pan Gluten Free Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Italian pasta starring cheese and pepper. But, I'm trying to lighten our plates this summer, so I wanted a carb-free version of this amazingly delicious dish. So I subbed in some carrot noodles (coodles!) and added fresh veg, for a lunch or light dinner that's ready in a flash.

Plus, I'm just not a fan of fussiness or doing dishes, that's why I adore this one pan "pasta" recipe. It's super simple, using bright, green veggies, lots of rich evoo, butter, cheese, and black pepper.

Notes from Chef Laura on the sauce: The trick is to emulsify water with extra virgin olive oil and cheese to create a creamy sauce that coats each strand delicately, and not in globs! 

Make sure to use a great quality extra virgin olive oil. We love Colavita!

Check out the video above for a tutorial on getting a silky, smooth sauce.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, such as Colavita
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • About ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 ounces (about 1 cup) grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (or a mix of both), plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 head escarole, chopped coarsely or 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 pound carrots (about 8 medium carrots) cut into ribbons lengthwise to resemble a wide noodle


1. Heat evoo in a large saute pan with pepper, over medium heat until pepper becomes fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2. Add butter to oil. Once melted add in water and whisk for 3 minutes until the mixture emulsifies (similar to making a vinaigrette). Add peas and escarole or spinach and stir until greens wilt a bit. Add carrots.

3. Toss carrots to coat with butter mixture. Turn off heat and add cheese. Keep tossing all carrot noodles are coated with sauce.

4. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional cheese.

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