Chef Christmas Recipe: Trout Roe Cacio e Pepe

“I’ve always loved The Feast of the Seven Fishes tradition that Italians do for Christmas Eve and this would be a great dish for one of the fish. It’s a very simple Ricotta Cavatelli that is done in the style of Cacio e Pepe with the addition of Trout Roe. The Roe lends a slight salinity to the dish and really helps elevate it.” – Executive Chef Jeff Dailey

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Prep Time: 90-100 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yields 8 Servings


For the Ricotta Cavatelli

  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups “00” pasta flour (Italian wheat flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups semolina
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • Semolina for dusting

To Finish

  • Finished Cavatelli pasta
  • 2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, microplaned
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp black pepper, roughly cracked
  • 3 tbsp Trout Roe
  • 3 tbsp chives, minced
  • Kosher salt to taste


  1. For the Ricotta Cavatelli: Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook attachment for 12 minutes. Once done kneading, round the dough out on the table and wrap in 3 layers of plastic and let rest for 1 hour.
  2. Cut the dough in 4 pieces and roll each piece into a rope, roughly 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut the ropes into pieces about 1/2 inch long and roll against a gnocchi board or the back of a fork to create the ridges. Place the finished cavatelli on a tray dusted with semolina. Place in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.
  3. To finish: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt to taste. In a large pan and the butter, olive oil and black pepper and cook over medium high heat until the black pepper becomes fragrant. Add 2 cups of the pasta water to the pan and remove from the heat. Add the Cavatelli to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they start to float. Add the Cavatelli to the pan with the pasta water, butter, oil and black pepper. Continue to cook over medium high heat until the water starts to reduce and thicken. Add additional pasta water as needed.
  4. Once the water has reduced and started to take on a sauce like consistency, add the Parmesan, Trout Roe and chive. Turn off the heat and stir to combine while giving the pan a toss to melt the cheese and get everything homogenous. Taste to check for seasoning and add additional salt if needed. Serve immediately.