Cacio e Pepe Salad

37 Comments

At the end of a certain magazine about People, which I only read on planes and road trips, there are recipes provided typically by chefs, sometimes by celebrities. I seldom take notice, except when something unique really pops out, like David Chang’s bacon fried rice. And that was a HIT!

This time, it was a cacio e Pepe salad, which was intriguing, since it’s well known as a pasta dish.

The contributor is Stefano Secchi, who I’ve never heard of until now, but he chefs at the New York City restaurant Rezdôra, in the Flatiron district. Even though this is called a salad, he serves it as an appetizer.

I was only capable of taking these terrible photos when I initially saw the recipe, because I was in the back seat of a car headed to Nashville, but they were enough to piece together the recipe!

All I needed was Little Gem lettuce, and a girlfriend came through for me!


Cacio e Pepe Salad

1/4 cup canola oil
1 ounce Pecorino cheese, grated
1 ounce Parmesan, grated, plus 1/2 ounce shaved
1/2 cup water ( I used 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons mustard
4 heads Little Gem lettuce
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Process the oil with the grated cheeses, water, lemon juice and mustard, just until emulsified, about 20 seconds.

Spread about 3/4 cup of the dressing on the cut sides of lettuce halves on a plate.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle on the pepper.


Add the shaved Parmesan.

So much like a Caesar salad, if truth be told, but oh so good.


Full disclosure: I subscribe to People magazine. Yes, I do.

37 thoughts on “Cacio e Pepe Salad

  1. This sounds like such a nice change of pace. And three cheers to your disclosure. All the rest of us read it in waiting rooms anyway — or at least we did, before the “new normal.”

    • Ha! I do it to keep up with what’s going on in the world, so I don’t feel so out of touch. I’m not sure it works…

  2. How fortunate to pick up a copy of the magazine and come away with this lovely fresh salad?! Thank goodness for a phone to photograph the recipe which is now winging its way around the world for us all to enjoy. :))
    THANKS!!!

  3. IMimi, have a serious, need-to-get-help addiction to cacio e’ pepe and all of the new recipes spinning from this delicious classic pasta recipe! I know that I will love this salad!!! Thanks for sharing and adding more reason to stay addicted to cacio e’ pepe (in a very good way).
    Be well! Ciao, Roz

  4. Ha ha, Mimi! I’m a closet People junkie, too… on airplanes, impulse-buy grocery store check-out stands, or whatever… ahem, Some of their “celebrity recipes” are really good! At first I thought you meant “Ancini de Pepe” (fondly known as “Frog Eye Salad” in our family) but Google quickly dispelled that notion. Their definition: “Cheese and Pepper.” YUM! No wonder it resembles Caesar Salad. What a lovely use of summer’s freshest and finest!

    • I have a cacio e Pepe traditional pasta recipe on my blog. I don’t see why it’s such a big darn deal, honestly. It’s simple pasta, salt, pepper, and pecorino. Good… don’t get me wrong. But I like a bit more stuff thrown in. I do need to check out this frog eye salad!!!

  5. What a fun idea! I love cacio e pepe in its traditional pasta form, so I’m pretty sure I would love this salad version, too. It’s perfect for hot summer days!

  6. I love that it could be a nice appetizer rather than salad. Why not – the gem lettuces are perfect for this purpose. I used to be able to get them here, but haven’t seen them for a while. Will need to look next time I’m allowed out to shop again. 😉 By the way, I get so enthralled with the in-depth reporting in People that I never made it to the back of the magazine to see that it has recipes! 🤣

  7. Wow! Nifty idea. Love Cacio e Pepe, but never thought to make a salad version. But I will. :-) Thanks!

  8. this sounds tasty! i love tangy dressing and plenty of cheese in my salad (:

  9. What a refreshing salad Mimi, this looks fabulous! Sometimes recipe inspiration comes from the places we least expect it. Definitely the perfect salad to make as we enter summer, yum!

    • It’s very good. And honestly, I’ve discovered quite a few really good recipes in people magazine!

  10. Love Little Gems and I’m so happy I can find them at Costco. I love People, too but only get my fill when I get my hair done or go to the dentist. Now that’s a problem because they have taken away all the magazines! Fun and simple recipe. Thanks, Mimi!

  11. There’s a somewhat similar salad at Jon and Vinny’s in Los Angeles which I loved so much I tried to recreate it at home. Now I have a much better roadmap thanks to you. GREG

  12. this sounds so nice! how lucky you are to get a hold of that magazine! thank you for sharing this lovely post with usss!!! have a great dayyy!!🤗🤗🤗

    Follow @everythingtips for tips and recommendations if interested! It would mean a lot to me!🥺🤍

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