Go Back
Spring Vegetable Cacio e Pepe with Hot Smoked Salmon paired with Verdicchio

Spring Vegetable Cacio e Pepe with Hot Smoked Salmon

An easy weeknight meal to celebrate the arrival of Spring vegetables. Pairs well with a high acidity Verdicchio from Italy's central wine growing region Marche.
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Author adapted from "Dinner Changing the Game" by Melissa Clark


  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 1 lb thin asparagus, snapping the bottom off (save for making stock) and cutting the remaining top section into 1-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup sweet green peas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz young Pecorino, such as Pecorino Toscano, shredded plus more for serving
  • 1 oz. Pecorino Romano, shredded plus more for serving
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated plus more for serving
  • 1/3 lb. hot smoked salmon, flaked
  • Kosher coarse sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil for serving


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the spaghetti. Cook according to package directions less 2 minutes. (the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce). A minute before the pasta is done, add the asparagus and peas. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain.
  • In a large skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter and add the black pepper. Sauté for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add 1/4 cup of the pasta water and the remaining one tablespoon of butter. Simmer for about 30 seconds, stirring until the butter is melted.
  • Add the cooked spaghetti, peas, asparagus, and all three cheeses. Stirring until the cheeses are melted. Add more pasta water if mixture seems too dry. Taste for seasoning and that the spaghetti is tender.
  • To serve, portion into individual bowls topping with some flaked smoked salmon, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, extra cheese and more freshly ground black pepper to taste.