Vegan Cacio e Pepe

Vegan Cacio e Pepe

This speedy vegan take on cacio e pepe utilizes a classic technique: Cook the pasta just short of al dente, reserve some of the starchy pasta water to add body to the sauce, then simmer the pasta in its sauce with a splash of pasta water, stirring vigorously until the sauce is emulsified. While many dairy-free pasta recipes look to puréed, soaked cashews for their creaminess, this one cuts corners by using store-bought cashew butter. A spoonful of miso adds depth, and tangy nutritional yeast adds umami. Toasting the peppercorns boosts their flavor and softens them.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high. (Go easy on the salt here, since the miso paste added in Step 4 is high in salt.) Add the nutritional yeast, cashew butter and miso to a small bowl and stir into a thick paste. Crush the peppercorns using the flat side of a knife. (Alternatively, you can roughly chop them, or use a pepper grinder set to a coarse setting.)
  2. Step 2

    Add the pasta to the boiling water, reduce the temperature to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes before al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 2 1/2 cups pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  3. Step 3

    Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the empty pot and heat over medium. Add about two-thirds of the crushed black peppercorns and toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Add the miso mixture, and stir, then whisk in 1 3/4 cups reserved pasta water until sauce is smooth. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook over medium-high, tossing it constantly and vigorously with tongs, until the sauce is glossy and the pasta is fully al dente, 1 to 2 minutes. Add an extra splash of reserved pasta water to keep the sauce glossy, if needed.
  5. Step 5

    Divide among bowls. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with remaining crushed pepper and serve immediately.