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Spaghetti Squash Cacio E Pepe

Enjoy a lighter, lower-calorie version of this classic Roman pasta dish.
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This recipe is excerpted from the cookbook The Food That Loves You Back by Ilana Muhlstein MS, RDN. Photographs by Corinne QuesnelUsed with permission of Mango Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Cacio E Pepe is a classic pasta dish from Rome, and because it's traditionally made with pasta and quite a bit of cheese, it's usually a calorie-laden dish. For a lower-calorie, lower-fat version of this beloved dish, try this Spaghetti Squash Cacio E Pepe recipe instead.

You'll Need

  • 6 cups (1,420 ml) cooked spaghetti squash
  • ¼-½ cup (60-120 ml) aquafaba, the reserved liquid from a can of chickpeas or a cornstarch slurry made by mixing 4 tbsp of cold water with tbsp of cornstarch. See note at the bottom of the page
  • ¼ cup (50 g) parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp. (1 g) black pepper

How to Make It

  1. Toast black pepper in a large saucepan over low to medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  2. Add parmesan cheese and aquafaba or cornstarch slurry to the large saucepan and stir vigorously until well combined.
  3. Once evenly mixed into a thick sauce, add in your spaghetti squash.
  4. Stir continuously until it's evenly mixed.
  5. Garnish with fresh basil (optional).

One note

Liquid from the can of chickpeas is called "aquafaba." It is an alternative thickener for the sauce because we're not using pasta water. You can save and store the chickpeas to add to a salad or use them to make the shakshuka or hummus recipes, which can be found in The Food That Loves You Back.

3.2/5 (6 Reviews)
Ilana Muhlstein, MS, RDN
Ilana Muhlstein, MS, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and bestselling author of You Can Drop It! is the creator of the 2B Mindset weight-loss program. Read more about Ilana