cacio pepe milanese
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Brown Butter Cacio e Pepe

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Cacio e Pepe is a pretty classic, easy pasta recipe which is what I love about it. The problem I have with it is, for a dinner, it can almost be TOO simple. I wanted to find a way to make it a little more interesting and also incorporate a protein source with the recipe. The answer is this Brown Butter Cacio e Pepe with Parmesan-Milanese Chicken.

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This chicken breasts are pretty straight forward. I started with some thin pieces, gave them a quick egg coating, and then into a breadcrumb/parmesan mixture. Then its just a simple pan fry in an oil/butter mixture. See, pretty simple!

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Now is the fun part! All that good chicken flavor is in the bottom up the pan. I started by pouring off some of the excess residual frying oil and then added some fresh butter. I allowed that to brown up a little, building the sauce up from there like a more standard cacio e pepe. The brown butter gives it a nice underlying nutty flavor that goes really well with cheese.

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For cheese, I did a mixture of parmigiano reggiano and pecorino romano. This mixture is pretty standard for Italian fare and is a good combination of flavors and textures.

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To round out the recipe, I tossed in some peas at the end for a textural and green element. While not necessary (I actually initially argued against this with Rob), it does help create a more rounded pasta dinner.

Brown Butter Cacio e Pepe with Parm-Milanese Chicken

A variation on classic Cacio e Pepe incorporating a Parmesan-Milanese Chicken and a brown butter sauce to turn this simple dish into a well rounded dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cacio, Italian, linguine, milanese, pan sauce, parmesan, pasta, pasta sauce, peas, pepe
Servings: 6 People


  • 1 Lb Linguine
  • 6 Chicken Breasts thin (cut or pounded)
  • 2 Eggs whisked
  • 2 Cups Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 5 Tbs Butter split into 2 and 3 tbs portions
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil plus extra
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1/2 Cup Reserved Pasta Water
  • 3/4 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • 3/4 Cup Pecorino Romano grated
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Cracked Peppercorns split in thirds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta per packaged instructions starting about when you flip the second batch of chicken breasts. Reserve the water towards the end to ensure a good starchy water.
  • Place the eggs in a bowl or plate along with the breadcrumbs and parmesan in another. Salt and pepper both.
  • Coat the chicken pieces in the egg then the breadcrumb/cheese mix.
  • Heat the 2 Tbs of butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan or skillet.
  • Fry the chicken pieces for about 5 minutes per side or golden brown, working in batches if needed. Add additional oil if needed between batches. Remove the chicken and either place in a 250F oven or tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Pour off any remaining oil/butter from the dish, but try to keep any left over remnants from the chicken (its basically flavor after all).
  • Reduce heat to a little below medium.
  • Add the remaining butter, allow to melt, and then brown (about 4-5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add 1/3 of the peppercorn at the beginning.
  • Add the garlic and another 1/3 of the peppercorn for an additional minute or two. Do not let the garlic burn.
  • Add half the starchy pasta water a little at a time so that it helps thicken but not create an overly wet sauce. Also add the remaining peppercorn.
  • Add the cooked pasta, cheeses, peas, and remaining pasta water, tossing everything together until evenly coated.
  • Serve the chicken over the pasta.

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