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+ servings

Lemony Arugula Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe


  • kosher salt for salting the pasta water
  • 12 oz dried spaghetti (gluten-free if you’re avoiding gluten)
  • ¼ lb about ¾ cup pancetta or bacon, finely diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp garlic, minced (~ 4 big cloves)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes +/- depending on your heat tolerance
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese + more for serving
  • 3 cups baby arugula, roughly torn


  • In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package directions.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (it comes in handy), then drain the pasta.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta until crisped (~ 7 to 9 minutes)
  • Add the olive oil, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and cook until fragrant (~ 1 minute)
  • Add the lemon juice to the skillet, then add the drained pasta. Toss to coat.
  • Add the cheese and toss, adding the pasta water, a couple of tablespoons at a time (the pasta water helps the cheese coat the pasta)
  • Add the arugula and toss until it wilts about 1 minute.
  • Season to taste with additional salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve with more cheese