Cooking with the Stars: This 4-Ingredient Pasta Is Worth Every Calorie

02/28/2014 at 10:39 AM ET

Oscars Pasta Recipe
Anne Wermiel/NY Post; Inset: Kevork Djansezian/Getty

One pasta, four Oscar nominees.

On Sunday night, Jennifer LawrenceJared LetoMatthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio may be enjoying fancy black truffle mac ‘n’ cheese at the Governors Ball — but outside of Hollywood, they’ve all forked into dish that’s decidedly less glamorous: the simple, comforting spaghetti from N.Y.C. restaurant Antica Pesa.

Called cacio e pepe (Italian for cheese and pepper), the dish is a classic Roman pasta made with just those two ingredients and noodles. (The restaurant prepared a special version with vegan cheese for Leto, owner Francesco Panella says.) It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal or even an impromptu dinner party  because the two-step recipe cooks in 10 minutes, says Panella. (We swear, some actors’ acceptance speeches go on longer than that!)

Because the dish is so simple, it’s important to invest in the best ingredients possible. Think of the cheese and the pepper as the starring actors — and basically only actors — in a film; you want to cast the ones that will give Oscar-worthy performances.

Speaking of the Academy Awards, whip up the recipe below and you have a nice dish for your Oscars viewing party. For a larger crowd, double or triple the ingredient amounts, but still make it all in one batch: This is a dish that needs to be served immediately.

We can’t think of an easier way to bring a little celebrity flavor to your spread.

Oscars Pasta Recipe
Courtesy Antica Pesa

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
Serves 2-4

1 pound thick spaghetti
1 cup pecorino cheese, grated
¾ cup parmigiano cheese, grated
1 tsp. ground black pepper

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook spaghetti until al dente, about 9 minutes. Reserve a cup of the water.

2. Place hot pasta in a large bowl, then add cheese and pepper. Stir the pasta, adding the hot water in small amounts until the cheese melts and becomes a creamy sauce. Serve immediately.

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Showing 10 comments

Anonymous on

If you really want to take this to a whole new level, shave some white truffles over the top.

johnnyblaze1986 on

As part of an Italian family, we do this a LOT if we want a quick dinner or lunch. It’s AMAZING and really IS easy to make!

johnnyblaze1986 on

Oh, and BTW, it’s also better and quicker with Angel Hair pasta. Just remember to keep stirring or else it will stick. It’s a lot smaller, but also a lot more filling and satisfying.

Julie on

I add garlic to the water, it cooks into the pasta

Anonymous on

Add butter. Yummy!

BZ on

One more reason to love the gorgeous Jared Leto. VEGAN! :)

Dee on

Sounds so yummy and so easy to make.
I’ll try this for sure.

Dee on

This is not pertaining to food, but seeing that photo of Jenn Lawrence…well…this young woman has a lot to learn.
Is anyone else getting tired of the media fawning all over her?

H on

I make something similar, but add crushed garlic to the boiling water and a little butter to the pasta. M&m.

Happy on

I wonder if they also give Leto vegan noodles? Haha.

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