Emma Wang | Sun Staff Photographer

April 11, 2018

Chrissy Teigen’s Lemony Arugula Cacio e Pepe

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I follow very few celebrities on social media — not because I’m better than people who do, but because I’m awful at staying up-to-date on pop culture. Chrissy Teigen is one of the few people whose Twitter feed I read religiously because she has a cynical sense of humor and loves food, which are the only two character traits I look for in people. When I saw she was working on her second cookbook, I decided to buy her first (because, again: bad at staying up-to-date).

Cravings has everything you could want in a cookbook: accessible instructions, humor and, ultimately, really good food. Her “Lemony Arugula Cacio e Pepe” is probably her most well-known dish. I’ve made it a few times, and here’s a quick rundown of why I love it:

  1. It’s pasta. Who doesn’t love pasta? Everyone loves pasta.
  2. It sounds really fancy, even though it’s pretty simple. Trying to impress a Tinder date? Make them Cacio e Pepe. They’ll think you’re cultured and know how to cook, even if neither of those things are true.
  3. You can also just make a giant pot of it for yourself and it’ll last the whole week.
  4. You can get all of the ingredients at Wegmans and, assuming you have staple ingredients (salt, pepper, oil), it’ll cost you less than $15.
  5. You don’t have to be perfect: The recipe is straightforward and doesn’t require any cooking knowledge, but if you mess something up, you can easily adjust and it’ll still taste like you knew what you were doing.

You can check out the video we made to accompany the recipe here and then try it out for yourself below (note: I proportionally increased the measurements from Chrissy Teigen’s original recipe because Wegmans sells spaghetti in 16-ounce containers and adjusting the entire recipe seemed easier than measuring out 12 ounces of spaghetti):

Chrissy Teigen’s Lemony Arugula Cacio e Pepe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serves: ~6


Salt for salting the boiling water

16 oz spaghetti

⅓ lb pancetta

⅓ cup olive oil

4 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more to taste

2 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste

⅓ cup lemon juice

2 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

4 cups baby arugula

Directions à la Chrissy Teigen:

  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until
    crisped, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the olive oil, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes and black pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the skillet, then toss in the drained pasta and toss to coat. Add the Parm and toss, adding the pasta water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, just to help the cheese coat the pasta. Add the arugula and toss until it wilts, about 1 minute. Season to taste with additional salt, lots of black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve with more Parm.