Cacio e Pepe latkes are made with Parmesan cheese instead of onions, and plenty of black pepper. (Photo/Micah Siva)
Cacio e Pepe latkes are made with Parmesan cheese instead of onions, and plenty of black pepper. (Photo/Micah Siva)

Get cooking with Roman-inspired Cacio e Pepe latkes

Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

My ultimate comfort food is a creamy dish of Cacio e Pepe Pasta, a Roman dish of cheese, pasta and freshly ground black pepper, made velvety smooth with pasta water. There is something irresistibly comforting about savory cheese, especially when paired with crispy fried potatoes. Enter the latke. (And cheese, of course, goes with the Hanukkah story of Judith.)

Unlike traditional potato pancakes, these Cacio e Pepe latkes replace onions with Parmesan cheese and a healthy seasoning of black pepper. If you’re looking for a Hanukkah miracle, you can watch these latkes disappear like magic!

Cacio e Pepe Latkes

Yields 12-14 latkes

  • 1½ lbs. russet potatoes (2-3 large or 4 medium potatoes)
  • ⅔ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 qt. vegetable oil, for frying

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Peel the potatoes, if desired. Shred with a box grater (on the largest holes) or a food processor; if using a food processor, quarter the potatoes, attach the shredding disc and shred those spuds.

Add the shredded potato to a clean kitchen towel, wringing out as much excess liquid as you can. Transfer the dried potatoes to a large bowl. Add the cheese, flour, eggs, salt and pepper, mixing to combine.

In a heavy, tall-sided skillet, heat ½ inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. You’ll know the oil is hot enough when you add a piece of potato and it sizzles immediately.

Scoop ¼ cup of the latke mixture into the pan, flattening with a spatula. Cook 4-5 latkes at a time. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden.

Transfer the crispy latkes to the lined baking sheet, keeping them warm in the oven while you fry the remaining mixture. Repeat, adding more oil to the pan as needed and letting it heat up before adding more latkes.

Micah Siva
Micah Siva

Micah Siva is a registered dietitian and trained chef in San Francisco. She develops modern Jewish recipes inspired by her grandmother, with a plant-forward twist. See her recipes and photography at Nosh with Micah.