Looking for a way to get more veggies in your diet? Look no further, because Ina Garten's recipe for cacio e pepe asparagus looks tasty enough to be the main dish. The beloved chef shared the supersimple cooking instructions on her Barefoot Contessa website on Wednesday, and I'm already reaching for the vegetable peeler. A beginner-level recipe, the side dish is ready in less than 30 minutes and calls for two of my favourite ingredients: butter and cheese.
Before roasting the asparagus in the oven, Ina blanches the spears in a pot of boiling water to soften them and tops the vegetables with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of fleur de sel (a kind of salt). Whether you're cooking for yourself or the whole family, I have a feeling this cheesy asparagus dish is going to go fast. Take a look at the full recipe ahead.
The peeler works best if you dip it in a glass of water from time to time.
- 1 1/2 pounds thick asparagus spears
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons freshly grated Italian Pecorino cheese
1 tablespoon freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese
1 lemon, quartered
Fleur de sel
- Preheat the oven to 230°C (or gas mark 8).
- Place 2 1/2 litres of water and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.
- Remove and discard 4 centimetres from the woody ends of the asparagus.
- Peel the bottom 5 centimetres of each spear with a vegetable peeler (see note above).
- When the water boils, add the asparagus and blanch for three to four minutes, until al dente. Drain in a colander.
- Transfer the asparagus to a 22 x 33-centimetre rectangular baking dish and add the butter, one teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Toss to coat.
- Arrange the asparagus decoratively in a baking dish before sprinkling with the Pecorino and Parmesan cheese.
- Roast for five minutes, until the cheese melts.
- When the asparagus is done baking, squeeze on some lemon juice, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and serve hot.
- Side Dishes
- Serves 4 people
- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 8 minutes
- Total Time
- 22 minutes, 59 seconds