Cacio e Pepe means cheese and pepper in Italian and this dish is traditionally tossed together and served as a pasta, but here I decided to use these ingredients in a spring snap pea and white bean salad for a twist on such a popular recipe. I enjoy the flavors of Pecorino cheese – it’s an intense sheep’s milk cheese with a salty dry finish and makes an outstanding addition to salad, along with freshly ground black pepper. Snap peas are topping my list of vegetables to enjoy right now, and when tossed with creamy white beans in a simple vinaigrette, it’s the perfect side dish to any meal.
Snap peas are here for a short period of time, and when ripe off the vine, they are as sweet as candy. Slicing them into bite sized pieces make them easier to enjoy and they are especially nice with creamy white beans from your pantry. I like the fact that there are only a handful of ingredients to create such a lovely salad, and the entire thing can be made in one bowl, including the dressing, for easy clean-up. I served this salad with pan seared fish, but it’s great with chicken and can hold up in a cooler for picnics this summer.
1 pound sugar snap peas – washed, ends trimmed and cut in half
3 sprigs of fresh dill, minced
1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
1/4 cup rice wine, apple cider or white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch of salt
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
14 ounces cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- In a large bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, pepper and salt. Drizzle in oil and continue to whisk until thickened.
- Add snap peas, dill, pecorino and white beans. Fold into vinaigrette until completely coated.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!