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“Cacio e Pepe” Popcorn with Pecorino Romano PDO

A classic dish from Rome, cacio e pepe employs a simple mix of Pecorino Romano PDO and freshly-cracked black pepper to transform simple pasta into a dish of minimalist decadence. In this party-ready recipe, we’ve used the same ingredients to dress freshly-popped popcorn.
Servings 3


  • 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano PDO
  • 1 ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper plus more to taste
  • Kosher salt to taste


  • ►Add canola oil and 3 popcorn kernels to a large heavy-bottomed pot. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and heat over medium-high until the kernels have popped.
  • ► Pour in the remaining kernels, shake the pot to distribute into an even layer, and cover with a lid. Remove from heat for 30 seconds (this helps bring all kernels up to temperature so that they cook evenly). Return to heat, and once kernels begin to pop, lower heat to medium. As the popcorn pops, shake the pot occasionally and leave the lid slightly ajar for steam to escape. Remove from heat once popping slows to 2 to 3 seconds between pops.
  • ►Transfer popcorn to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add Pecorino Romano, black pepper, and a big pinch of salt. Toss to coat and season to taste. Serve immediately.