Cacio e Pepe in Parm Bowls

From Foodheim: A Culinary Adventure [A Cookbook] by Eric Wareheim with Emily Timberlake

Cacio e Pepe in Parm Bowls, from Foodheim, by Eric Wareheim with Emily Timberlake
Photographs copyright © 2021 by Julia Stotz

This deep, dank, creamy pasta is the first thing I crave when I arrive in Rome. So, after I land, I make a beeline for Roma Sparita, which is where I first encountered this EYOB (eat your own bowl) preparation. Along with spaghetti carbonara, cacio e pepe is one of the most iconic Roman-style pasta dishes there is, and it’s a recipe you should learn by heart. It translates to “Pecorino and pepper,” and that’s really all it is—so you should always have the necessary ingredients in your pantry. Make sure to use fresh peppercorns here (if yours are on the staler side, you might have to use more than what’s called for) and crush them yourself (don’t buy preground stuff). Definitely grate the finest Parm and Pecorino you can get your hands on. Does this already insanely rich dish NEED a Parm bowl? Of course not, but trust me, you need to try it. This is Heimy Style at its peak.


Makes 2 servings


½ pound dried bucatini pasta
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
¾ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Parm Bowls (recipe follows) for serving
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, cook according to the package instructions, and then drain; reserving a couple cups of the starchy pasta water.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter, then add the crushed peppercorns and cook until toasty and fragrant but not burned, about 90 seconds. Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water and simmer for 1 minute. Turn the heat to medium, then add the pasta and the Parm. Using tongs, stir to integrate the pasta, about 1 minute. At this point you should have a loose, liquidy sauce that is shiny and coats every strand of pasta.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, add the Pecorino, and stir again to combine. The sauce should be rich and creamy, but you can add more pasta water if needed to reach the right consistency.
  4. Place a Parm bowl on each serving plate, then divide the pasta evenly among the bowls and finish with a pinch of freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.


Makes 2 bowls


1½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place ¾ cup of the Parm onto the parchment and form into a circle. The cheese should be spread evenly and thinly—but not so thin that there are holes where you can see through to the parchment.
  3. Bake the Parm until bubbly and browned a bit, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, then grab a bowl (a standard cereal bowl works best) and place the bowl, right-side up, on the center of the cheese circle. Using oven mitts or a kitchen towel, flip the bowl plus the cheese and parchment so the bowl is upside down. Press and drape the cheese and parchment so it molds around the bowl. Peel off the parchment and let the cheese harden over the bowl for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, repeat with the remaining ¾ cup cheese to form a second bowl and then serve.



A Culinary Adventure [A Cookbook]

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From one half of the cult comedy duo Tim & Eric comes the culinary bible for modern food freaks, showing you how to throw epic parties, suck the marrow out of life, and cook better than your grandmother.
ONE OF THE TEN BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker • ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: New York Post • “A book with all the recipes to Wareheim’s insanely delicious secret sauces? And a sneak peek at the man behind the curtain?? I’ll take two please . . . extra crispy!!!”—Jack Black

Director and actor Eric Wareheim might be known for his comedy, but his passion for food and drink is no joke. For the last fifteen years he has been traveling the world in search of the best bites and sips, learning from top chefs and wine professionals along the way. His devotion to beautiful natural wine, the freshest seafood crudos, and perfectly cooked rib-eyes is legit. And now he wants to share with you everything he’s learned on this epic food journey.

In Foodheim, Wareheim takes readers deep into his foodscape with chapters on topics like circle foods (burgers, tacos), grandma foods (pasta, meatballs), and juicy foods (steak, ribs). Alongside recipes for Chicken Parm with Nonna Sauce, Personal Pan Pep Pep, and Crudite Extreme with Dill Dippers, you will discover which eight cocktail recipes you should know by heart, how to saber a bottle of bubbly, and what you need to do to achieve handmade pasta perfection at home.

Written with award-winning cookbook editor Emily Timberlake and featuring eye-popping photographs and art chronicling Wareheim's evolution as a drinker, how to baby your pizza dough into pie perfection, and more, Foodheim is the ultimate book for anyone who lives to eat.

Praise for Foodheim

“We are all searching for greatness, and Eric is what we are searching for in ourselves. Through his searching we don’t need to search: we have found. Eric is my Martha Stewart, my mother. He’s the maître d, the Emeril Lagasse, the Andre Agassi, the Dennis Rodman. He’s true love and commitment to the craft of the food. He is food.”—Matty Matheson
“Eric has written an instant classic that will command prime real estate in every young culinary enthusiast’s kitchen. People will say about Foodheim what past generations have said about Joy of Cooking, ’This book taught me how to cook.’ If this book existed as a resource for me when I was making my bones, I would surely be more successful today. Hail, Foodheim!”—Kris Yenbamroong, chef and owner of NIGHT + MARKET
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