Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian recipe that tosses pasta in butter and cheese, but this healthier version sub squash for pasta.

June 01, 2018

Pasta lovers, rejoice. We just found a way to make your favorite recipe lower in refined carbohydrates and higher in vitamins. You’re welcome.

First, let’s review: Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian recipe that tosses pasta (usually linguine or spaghetti) in butter, extra virgin olive oil, and pecorino romano cheese, then tops it all off with a generous dusting of fresh cracked pepper and lemon zest. The result is an ultra-rich dish that’s as simple as it is tasty. Unfortunately, it’s also high in processed carbs, thanks to the main player on the plate: pasta.

Don’t get us wrong, carbs are key. After all, carbohydrates are the body’s first source of fuel. That said, it’s healthier to consume most of your carbs from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as opposed to processed starches like those found in white bread, pasta, and sweets.

Since cacio e pepe is so darn good, chances are you’ll want to eat it weekly (at least). To help you avoid carb loading every time a cacio e pepe craving hits, we created this better-for-you version that replaces the pasta with spaghetti squash. Everything else stays the same, including the butter, cheese, and olive oil.

Here’s why it’s great: Not only does spaghetti squash provide the same noodle-like quality as pasta, it also serves up vitamin A and potassium, all for a fraction of the calories. One cup of spaghetti squash contains just 42 calories, while a cup of spaghetti will usually set you back about 225.

Want a bite of this upgraded classic? Watch the video above to see how easily you can cook up spaghetti squash cacio e pepe in your own kitchen.