Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners
Active Time
5 Mins
Total Time
20 Mins
Yield
20 bites

Cacio e pepe simply means “cheese and pepper.” And what’s not to like about that? Usually served as a pasta dish, we have turned this popular item into a quick and easy appetizer. If you want a quick pasta meal however, just boil the amount of pasta you need, drain, sprinkle in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then stir in Parmesan cheese. Keep frozen puff pastry sheets in the freezer for last minute desserts and party food options. Follow the package directions and you are well on your way to a hot and delicious treat. Each package has two sheets of puff pastry. Lightly flour your countertop, then roll each pastry sheet with a rolling pin. Use a 2-inch cookie or biscuit cutter to make your shapes. While we call for a specific amount of grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, this recipe is very forgiving. So use as much cheese as you love! And don’t be afraid to mix it up with Romano or Pecorino cheese – whatever you have on hand, just save some for sprinkling over the baked puffs. These are best served hot and, since they only take 15 minutes to bake, you can pop them in the oven as soon as your guests start to arrive. Greet them at the door with a signature cocktail, then direct them to the table filled with other party nibbles. If you are hosting a gameday event, these puffs will satiate the crowd’s hunger while the main event, a warm and delicious slow-cooker soup, finishes cooking.

How to Make It

Step 1

Roll pastry sheets into a 12-inch square on a lightly floured surface and cut into 20 (2-in.) fluted rounds. Place puff pastry rounds on ungreased baking sheets.

Step 2

Brush rounds evenly with extra-virgin olive oil; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and flaky sea salt. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fresh chives and additional Parmesan.